Date of Award

Spring 5-16-2024

Degree Type


Degree Name

PhD Health Sciences


Health and Medical Sciences


Genevieve P. Zipp, EdD

Committee Member

Genevieve P. Zipp, EdD

Committee Member

Michelle D’Abundo, PhD

Committee Member

Kristiane W. George, PhD


sickle cell disease, mHealth technology app, transition, adolescent and young adult, health care, UTAUT


Background and Purpose of the Study: The transition from pediatric to adult self- care management practices for Adolescents and Young Adults (AYAs) with SCD is a pivotal period in their life. According to the literature, there is a positive interest and intention toward utilizing mHealth technology apps to support the transition and adult self-management practices. However, mHealth technology apps with appropriate SCD transition and adult self-management features does not currently exist for the AYA population and has not been reported on in the literature. The purpose of thisembedded mixed method study is to explore in AYA’s with SCD, their perceptions regarding mHealth technology app support when transitioning from pediatric to adult self-care management practices as well as their behavioral intention to use it through out adulthood.

Methods: Guided by the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology, data collection and analysis of both qualitative and quantitative data were combined using a mixed methods research design. Data was collected from AYAs with SCD in the U.S. between ages 18-30 (n= 97) via a cross-sectional survey questionnaire. Qualitative practices employing coding, category development and the development of thematic analysis statements was conducted to analyze the qualitative data and correlational hypothesis testing, descriptive and inferential statistical analysis was conducted in SPSS to analyze the quantitative data.

Results: Of the 97 participants, 91.8% had already transitioned. Majority of participants were interested in learning about mHealth technology app support for their SCD transition and adult self-management practices. The most highly requested mHealth technology app features were telehealth, resources and educational SCD content and communication. In addition, it was found that a relationship exist between all four direct determinants of the UTAUT and the behavioral intention of AYA’s with SCD to use a mHealth technology app, along with age and gender as moderating factors. The SCD mHealth technology App Support Survey Tool resulted in a Cronbach alpha of 0.894, which indicates good internal consistency and acceptable KMO measure of 0.870, with performance expectancy as the highest determinant of behavioral intention.

Conclusion: Based upon the study findings, when developing SCD mHealth Technology apps, appropriate and specific SCD transition and adult self-management features need to be considered to meet the needs of AYAs with SCD transitioning to adulthood.