Scientific evidence and user quality in mobile health applications for people with cognitive impairments and their caregivers
Wissenschaftliche Evidenz und Nutzerqualität von Mobile-Health-Anwendungen für Menschen mit kognitiven Beeinträchtigungen und deren Angehörige

Michael Zeiler, Christina Chmelirsch, Nikolas Dietzel, Peter L Kolominsky-Rabas
The range of health-related apps is large, but the scientific evidence for them is uncertain. The aim of this study is to evaluate the methodological quality of German-language mobile health apps for people with dementia and their caregivers. The app search was conducted according to the PRISMA-P guidelines in the application stores (Google Play Store and Apple App Store) using the terms "Demenz", "Alzheimer", "Kognition" and "Kognitive Beeinträchtigung". A systematic literature search with
more » ... equent assessment of the scientific evidence was performed. The user quality assessment was conducted using "The German Version of the Mobile App Rating Scale" (MARS-G). Scientific studies have been published for only 6 of the 20 apps identified. A total of 13 studies were included in the evaluation, whereby the app itself was the subject of investigation in only two publications. In addition, methodological weaknesses were often observed such as small group sizes, short study duration and / or insufficient comparative treatment. The overall quality of the apps can be rated as acceptable with a mean MARS rating of 3.38. Seven apps were able to achieve a score of over 4.0 and thus a good rating, but just as many apps fell below the acceptable limit of 3.0. The contents of most apps have not been scientifically tested. This identified lack of evidence is consistent with the information in the literature in other indication areas. A systematic and transparent evaluation of health applications is necessary to protect end-users and better support their selection process.
doi:10.1016/j.zefq.2023.01.003 pmid:36890031 fatcat:4u33d2joufgrxgfvyrwvkenbki