Quality of Smartphone Apps Related to Alcohol Use DisorderPenzenstadler L.a · Chatton A.a · Van Singer M.b · Khazaal Y.a, b
aDepartment of Mental Health and Psychiatry, Geneva University Hospitals, and bDepartment of Psychiatry, Geneva University, Geneva, Switzerland
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Article / Publication Details
Background: Apps for smartphones are opening an important range of opportunities for improving the care of people with alcohol use disorders (AUDs). Aims: This study aimed to evaluate the quality of English language apps for AUDs and to compare paid and free apps. The keywords ‘alcohol', ‘alcohol addiction', ‘alcohol help' and ‘stop drinking' were entered into the iTunes Store search engine. Apps were evaluated using a standardized assessment designed to rate the quality of apps in terms of accountability, interactivity, self-help score and evidence-based content. The Brief DISCERN score and the criteria of the ‘Health on the Net' label were also used as content quality indicators. Results and Conclusions: Of the 137 unique apps identified, 52 met the inclusion criteria. Overall, the content quality and self-help scores of these AUD apps were poor. The main quality indicators were not linked to payment status. Multiple linear regressions showed that the Brief DISCERN score significantly predicted content quality. Poor content quality and self-help scores of AUD smartphone apps underline the gap between their potential promises and the overall quality of available products in stores. The quality indicators used in the present study may be used for further app developments.
© 2016 S. Karger AG, Basel
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