Assessment of Mobile Health Applications for Management of Knee and/or Hip Osteoarthritis Using the Mobile Application Rating Scale

Craig P. Hensley, Maria M. Witte, Jiayi Cai, Amy Gruenke, Jaclyn Pecze, Abigail Mangefrida, Alison H. Chang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background Mobile health applications (apps) can help individuals with knee and/or hip osteoarthritis (OA) learn about, monitor, and manage their condition. These apps have not been formally evaluated. Objective The aim of this study was to evaluate the publicly available mobile health apps for individuals with knee and/or hip OA using a systematic review. Methods We searched the Apple App Store, Android Google Play, and Amazon Appstore using the terms "arthritis,""osteoarthritis,""hip OA,""knee OA,""hip,""knee,""rehabilitation,""rehab,"and "physical therapy"in December of 2021. Applications that met the inclusion/exclusion criteria were reviewed using the Mobile Application Rating Scale (MARS; 29 items across 6 sections, each rated at 1-5). Results Among 1104 identified apps, 94 met the inclusion/exclusion criteria for MARS appraisal. Fourteen apps met the predetermined score thresholds for final summary. Of the 14 apps appraised, the total overall mean app score on the MARS ranged from 3.12 to 4.20 (mean, 3.51 ± 0.37). Although app features varied, common features were symptom tracking, exercise recommendations, education, goal setting, and improving well-being. Many apps allowed for sharing with health care providers and included some measures to protect privacy. Jointfully Osteoarthritis was the top-rated app in both the Apple App Store and Android Google Play. Conclusions The majority of the apps we identified for knee and/or hip OA did not meet predetermined score thresholds for final summary. Many failed to provide comprehensive education and deliver management plans and lacked scientific testing. Future research should focus on apps that fit the needs of health care providers and patients including quality information, structured exercise programs tailored to individual needs, secure communication methods, and health information protection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)245-253
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Clinical Rheumatology
Volume29
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2023

Keywords

  • mobile applications
  • mobile health
  • osteoarthritis
  • rehabilitation
  • self-management
  • smartphone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology

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