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Mobile health apps: an exploration of user-generated reviews in Google Play store on a physical activity application

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Objective: This study aimed to evaluate reviews that have been posted publicly on the app ‘MapMyRun’ to investigate which features were associated with usage of the app. A secondary aim was to determine whether MapMyRun consisted of specific behaviour change techniques that would have increased the likelihood of users being engaged with the app.

Methods: Reviews posted on MapMyRun by users between 1st May 2017- 30th April 2018 were extracted, coded and analysed using content analysis.

Results: Eleven behaviour change techniques were identified among the features of MapMyRun. A total of 3,253 reviews met the inclusion/exclusion criteria, and 12 codes were developed. The codes were grouped into 8 subthemes within 2 main themes: ‘Effort’ and ‘Self-monitoring’. Consistent with previous literature, ‘Goal-Setting’ and ‘Self-Monitoring of Behaviour’ were two techniques included in MapMyRun. Social features of MapMyRun facilitated competition among users, their family, and friends.

Conclusions: This was the first qualitative review to assess a single mobile health physical activity app and analyse it from the perspectives of the users. Creators of future mobile health apps should focus on user friendliness and the use of social features, as both may increase the chances of users’ continued use with the app.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
JournalDigital Health
Publication statusPublished - 8 May 2021


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