Increasing evidence has shown that theory-based health behavior change interventions are more effective than non-theory-based ones. However, only a few segments of relevant studies were theory-based, especially the studies conducted by non-psychology researchers. On the other hand, many mobile health interventions, even those based on the behavioral theories, may still fail in the absence of a user-centered design process. The gap between behavioral theories and user-centered design increases the difficulty of designing and implementing mobile health interventions. To bridge this gap, we propose a holistic approach to designing theory-based mobile health interventions built on the existing theories and frameworks of three categories: (1) behavioral theories (e.g., the Social Cognitive Theory, the Theory of Planned Behavior, and the Health Action Process Approach), (2) the technological models and frameworks (e.g., the Behavior Change Techniques, the Persuasive System Design and Behavior Change Support System, and the Just-in-Time Adaptive Interventions), and (3) the user-centered systematic approaches (e.g., the CeHRes Roadmap, the Wendel's Approach, and the IDEAS Model). This holistic approach provides researchers a lens to see the whole picture for developing mobile health interventions.
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