To identify pelvic floor muscle therapy (PFMT) mobile health (mHealth) applications (apps) targeting women with urinary incontinence (UI), and evaluate them in a standardized fashion.
A systematic search of English language apps on the Canadian App Store (iOS) and Google Play (Android) Store was performed. Eligible apps were evaluated independently by 5 reviewers using the validated Mobile App Rating Scale (MARS) tool. Descriptive characteristics were summarized, and MARS subscale and overall quality scores reported.
Of 139 mHealth apps identified, 20 unique apps were included for full review, of which there were 7 iOS only apps, 6 Android only apps, and 7 apps available in both stores. At the time of analysis, most apps had been updated within the last year (60%). Only 1 app had been trialed and verified by evidence in scientific literature. The majority of apps were free to download (80%). The median (interquartile range) MARS overall quality score was 3.7 (0.8) on a 0-5 scale, ranging from 2.7 to 4.1. The highest-rated subscale was 'functionality' with a median score of 4.1 (0.6); the lowest-rated was 'information' with a median score of 3.4 (0.6). The median MARS subjective quality score was 2.9 (1.0).
There are both free and paid apps available on-line that deliver PFMT programs. Evaluation using the MARS tool identified that many apps are not of high quality, and only one was evidence-based and has been trialed clinically. This knowledge is relevant to the choice of apps by both patients and caregivers.
Urology. 2020 Sep 02 [Epub ahead of print]
Louisa Ho, Andrew Macnab, Yoshi Matsubara, Kelsey Peterson, Brian Tsang, Lynn Stothers
Department of Urologic Sciences, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada., University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada., St. Andrew's University, United Kingdom., Department of Urologic Sciences, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada. Electronic address: .