Mobile fitness and weight management apps: an evaluation protocol (Preprint)
Milne-Ives M., Lam C., van Velthoven M., Meinert E.
<sec> <title>BACKGROUND</title> <p>Obesity is a large contributing factor for many non-communicable diseases and is a growing problem worldwide. Many mobile apps have been developed to help users improve their fitness and weight management behaviours. However, the speed at which apps are created and updated means that it is important to periodically assess their quality.</p> </sec> <sec> <title>OBJECTIVE</title> <p>The purpose of this study is to evaluate the quality of fitness and weight management mobile health apps using the Mobile Application Rating Scale (MARS). It will also describe the features of the included apps and compare the results to a previous evaluation conducted in 2015.</p> </sec> <sec> <title>METHODS</title> <p>Searches for “fitness”, “weight”, “exercise”, “physical activity”, “diet”, “eat*”, and “food” will be conducted in the Apple App Store and Google Play. Apps that have been updated over the past five years will be included. Two reviewers will rate the apps’ quality using the MARS objective and subjective quality subscales. Inter-rater reliability will also be assessed. Features included in high quality apps will be assessed, and changes in quality, features, and Behaviour Change Techniques  in the past 5 years will be described.</p> </sec> <sec> <title>RESULTS</title> <p>Results will be included in the evaluation paper, which we aim to publish in 2020.</p> </sec> <sec> <title>CONCLUSIONS</title> <p>This evaluation will assess the quality of currently available fitness and weight management apps.</p> </sec>