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Content and Usability Evaluation of Medication Adherence Mobile Applications for Use in Pediatrics.


ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE:The objective of this study was to systematically evaluate commercially available medication adherence apps for the inclusion of behavior change techniques (BCTs) and to conduct a usability analysis on a subset of apps with adolescents and young adults living with a chronic illness. METHODS:Medication adherence apps were identified via a search of iTunes app store in August 2016. Seventy-five apps meeting initial inclusion criteria were independently coded by two researchers for the presence/absence of 26 BCTs. Twenty adolescents and young adults (ages: 13-20 years) with inflammatory bowel disease conducted usability testing on a subset of apps (n?=?4). RESULTS:Across 75 apps coded for presence/absence of 26 BCTs, only 7 unique BCTs were identified. The number of BCTs per app ranged from 2 to 6, with an average of 3.3 BCTs. In usability testing, quality ratings varied across apps. Medisafe received the highest average scores on engagement, functionality, aesthetics, and information subscales. Medisafe and MyTherapy ranked first and second, respectively, on overall quality and perceived impact ratings. CONCLUSION:Content evaluation revealed only a limited number of BCTs that have been translated to medication adherence apps. Among apps with comparable content, clear user preferences emerged based on perceived quality and usability. Greater collaboration is needed between psychologists and health technologists to incorporate more evidence-based BCTs in apps. Findings also indicate a need for app developers to consider and incorporate the preferences of younger end users to improve app quality and engagement for pediatric populations.

SUBMITTER: Carmody JK 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC6415658 | BioStudies | 2019-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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