Design and Content Quality of Alcohol-Related German, French and Italian Self-Tracking Applications.

07:00 EST 14th January 2020 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Design and Content Quality of Alcohol-Related German, French and Italian Self-Tracking Applications."

Research on the increasing use of mobile technology in the addiction field is mainly focused on data collection and brief interventions. The acceptance and outcomes of autonomous self-tracking and self-governance as key elements for behavior change are under-researched. The objective of the study was to conduct a quality assessment of design and content features of self-tracking smartphone applications related to alcohol use, available in German, Italian, or French. A total of 25 self-tracking applications were identified, of which 17 could be assessed with the Mobile App Rating Scale (MARS), the System Usability Scale (SUS), and an additional content quality checklist based on the theoretical self-change framework ( = 13). The scale design analysis showed a rather positive picture. Using the SUS, only six cases were below the reference average ( = 68), and three were clearly above average. Application of the MARS showed higher scores among the self-tracking applications in this study than among the health applications reviewed in the original MARS study. Better design quality goes together with better basic content quality. However, a closer look at the "interactivity scores" and the "risk/information barometer," as well as at the individual subtopics of the 10-point content checklist revealed major shortcomings. Improvements are necessary for consumer information in app stores, increased availability of alcohol-related self-tracking applications, transparent quality assurance regarding evidence-based content, and user-friendly design quality, to provide guidance for potential users on how to successfully navigate a highly unstable digital environment.


Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Substance use & misuse
ISSN: 1532-2491
Pages: 1-9


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