Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

JMIR Pediatrics and Parenting





Publisher Name

JMIR Publications


Background: Adolescents and young adults with spina bifida (AYA-SBs) have unique user needs, given their variable and complex symptom profile. Owing to multiple barriers to prevention and intervention treatments for secondary conditions (eg, obesity), AYA-SBs may benefit from the use of behavioral intervention technologies (BITs). However, as BITs are often designed and tested with typically developing individuals, it is unclear if existing BITs may be usable for AYA-SBs.

Objective: This study aimed to evaluate the usability of a high-quality, publicly available, weight management–focused mobile BIT (smartphone app) for AYA-SBs.

Methods: Overall, 28 AYA-SBs attending a Young Men’s Christian Association–based summer camp completed 4 structured usability tasks using a weight management app designed for the general public called My Diet Coach (Bending Spoons). Learnability was measured by (1) time to complete task, (2) number of user errors, and (3) correct entry of data when requested by the app. Satisfaction and general usability were measured via self-reported questionnaires and qualitative feedback following interactions with the app.

Results: The majority of the sample were able to complete the tasks, with increased completion rates and improved times on second attempts of the tasks (Ps

Conclusions: AYA-SBs were able to learn how to complete specific tasks independently on a weight management app, but design changes consistent with previously proposed user needs were recommended. Rather than designing entirely new BITs, it may be possible to adapt existing technologies to personalize BITs for specific populations such as AYA-SBs.


Author Posting © The Authors, 2019. This article is posted here by permission of The Authors for personal use, not for redistribution. The article was published in JMIR Pediatrics and Parenting, Volume 2, Issue 2, October 2019,

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Included in

Psychology Commons