Using an Activity Tracker in Healthcare: Experiences of Healthcare Professionals and Patients

D. Ummels*, E. Beekman, S.M. Braun, A.J. Beurskens

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Web of Science)


Despite the increased use of activity trackers, little is known about how they can be used in healthcare settings. This study aimed to support healthcare professionals and patients with embedding an activity tracker in the daily clinical practice of a specialized mental healthcare center and gaining knowledge about the implementation process. An action research design was used to let healthcare professionals and patients learn about how and when they can use an activity tracker. Data collection was performed in the specialized center with audio recordings of conversations during therapy, reflection sessions with the therapists, and semi-structured interviews with the patients. Analyses were performed by directed content analyses. Twenty-eight conversations during therapy, four reflection sessions, and eleven interviews were recorded. Both healthcare professionals and patients were positive about the use of activity trackers and experienced it as an added value. Therapists formulated exclusion criteria for patients, a flowchart on when to use the activity tracker, defined goals, and guidance on how to discuss (the data of) the activity tracker. The action research approach was helpful to allow therapists to learn and reflect with each other and embed the activity trackers into their clinical practice at a specialized mental healthcare center.
Original languageEnglish
Article number5147
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2021


  • activity tacker
  • eHealth
  • telehealth
  • implementation
  • experiences
  • meaningful use
  • clinical reasoning

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