Improving Student Mental Health Through Health Objectives in a Mobile App

Mikhail Vinogradov, Maiga Chang, Fuhua Lin, Yang Yan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingPublished Conference contributionpeer-review


This research sets out to validate a mobile app intervention that aimed to improve the participant’s mental health by asking them to engage in small daily challenges. The challenges encouraged the participant to create a better sleep, diet, and exercise routine, which in turn create better mental health. The challenges were gamified with points, badges, and leaderboards. The participants were split into two groups with the gamification features only shown to half of the participants to help measure the effect of gamification on the engagement. The study gathered 73 participants, of which 67 completed at least one challenge, 30 participated in multiple mental health surveys allowing us to calculate a change in mental health over time, and 8 completed the entire 8-week trial. Throughout the trial participants were asked to fill out a 4-item questionnaire to evaluate their mental health, while analytics were gathered about their engagement with the app as measured by the number of days they opened the app and number of points they collected. Correlation analyses were performed to measure the relationship between engagement and mental health and split by group. We observed a negative correlation between points gained and mental health score, as well as a difference in means between the control and experiment groups suggesting that engagement could be influenced by gamification and has a positive effect on mental health.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationICT for Health, Accessibility and Wellbeing - 2nd International Conference, IHAW 2022, Revised Selected Papers
EditorsGeorge Angelos Papadopoulos, Achilleas Achilleos, Edwige Pissaloux, Ramiro Velázquez
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2023
Event2nd International Conference on ICT for Health, Accessibility and Wellbeing, IHAW 2022 - Larnaca, Cyprus
Duration: 5 Dec. 20227 Dec. 2022

Publication series

NameCommunications in Computer and Information Science
Volume1799 CCIS
ISSN (Print)1865-0929
ISSN (Electronic)1865-0937


Conference2nd International Conference on ICT for Health, Accessibility and Wellbeing, IHAW 2022


  • Diet
  • Exercise
  • Intention
  • Intrinsic Motivation
  • Measurement of the Intention to be Physically Active (MIFA)
  • Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ)
  • Physical Activity
  • Sleep
  • System Usability Scale (SUS)


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