Mobile health (mHealth) technologies may reduce or widen health inequalities. Despite the extensive literature in support of both of these contrasting views, little attention has been paid to the role of mHealth technologies with regard to social strata and health in the context of South Korea, a country with one of the highest usages of smartphones worldwide. This study examined the effects of social determinants on health self-efficacy and health status and explored how mHealth technologies moderate the impacts of social determinants on health outcomes. Data were collected via online surveys from 29 July to 3 August 2021. Survey data from 1187 Korean adults showed that men had higher levels of health self-efficacy than women. The higher an individual’s education level, the greater their subjective health status. Individuals with higher levels of monthly household income, social capital, and healthcare quality reported higher levels of health self-efficacy and superior health status. The use of mHealth technologies moderated the associations between social determinants and health outcomes. Specifically, monthly household income and social capital had smaller effects on health self-efficacy and health status among those who used higher levels of mHealth technologies. Among higher users of mHealth technologies, females reported better health status than males, while men showed better health status than women in the low-user group. These findings highlight the effectiveness of mHealth technologies in addressing health disparities.
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