Brendon Wolff-Piggott (PhD)

Research Title

Appropriation of an mHealth Service in Primary Health Care Clinics: Activity, Hierarchy and Collaborati"

Research Overview

mHealth research to date has focussed on the required inputs and also the outputs (effectiveness) of these implementations, but has neglected the analysis of how people use them in practice. Understanding how clinic staff appropriate mHealth systems is important to help identify how these initiatives might be more effectively integrated with existing health systems.

This research explores a multiple case study of the appropriation of an mHealth service by clinic staff at different levels, as they collaborate to register pregnant women to receive text messages to assist them with stage-appropriate information. The staff receive no direct benefit from their use of the system and management control is not well developed. This represents an extreme case, where staff might be expected to avoid or neglect using the service.

My research uses Activity Theory to analyse the daily activities and conditions under which appropriation takes place, the implications for the forms that appropriation takes and the way that the staff interact in this process. In this way the research contributes to improved understanding of the appropriation of mHealth, extends Activity Theory to take account of the processes observed in the clinics and provides suggestions for improving the effectiveness of practitioners interventions."

Key Themes

mHealth; Activity Theory; Appropriation


Click here for Google Scholar


BSc Honours (Physics) - University of kwaZulu-Natal; MSc (Geography) - University of Stellenbosch

Home Country

South Africa