Assessing Mobile-Occupational-Traditional-Training Apps for OTs

With over 5 million health-related mobile apps available, the use of mHealth in clinical settings continues to grow. However, determining app quality is a challenge due to limited information and time demands on practitioners. A new tool may help overcome these obstacles and improve OTs’ ability to assess the suitability of mHealth apps for their clients.

The use of mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, in occupational therapy practice is increasingly common. This new type of technology provides therapists with the tools they need to deliver high-quality care that is more accessible and effective. Bringing therapeutic interventions into the client’s home or work environment allows for more effective treatments and increased adherence to therapy goals.

One of the main advantages of is that it allows therapists to bring services directly to the client’s home or workplace. This eliminates barriers for many patients who would otherwise be unable to access treatment services. It also helps to create a stronger bond between the patient and the therapist, which can result in better outcomes from therapy sessions.

Similarly, mobile pediatric therapy helps to reduce the burden on families by providing services in the home, school, or community setting. This makes it easier for the family to schedule appointments and ensures that the child is complying with treatment. It is also more comfortable for children to receive therapy in familiar surroundings, which can reduce fear and anxiety.

The objective of this study was to evaluate the quality of mHealth apps frequently used by OTs using the user version of the uMARS evaluation tool. The uMARS measures 3 subscales of mobile application quality: engagement, functionality, and aesthetics. Aesthetics refers to how pleasant or attractive the layout, fonts, icons, and graphics of the app are. The top 10 apps evaluated for this category can be found in Table 1. Fit Brains scored a perfect score in this regard, as it is highly entertaining and interesting to use, stimulates repeated usage, can be personalized through customization options, and encourages active participation from the user. Lumosity and Bugs & Buttons scored close to perfection as well.

In the future, it will be important to continue to evaluate and identify high-quality apps that can be used in clinical settings. This will require a deeper understanding of how different qualities of an app influence its effectiveness in a clinical setting, as well as the ability to identify factors that can be used to improve app quality. By implementing diffusion theory strategies, it may be possible to encourage the use of a quality assessment tool among OT opinion leaders and eventually enable widespread adoption in the field of occupational therapy.