Table 1 Characteristics of the included systematic reviews

From: Prescribable mHealth apps identified from an overview of systematic reviews

Review ID Studies included Participants/Population Interventions Comparison interventions Reported outcome measures Review limitations
Bonoto10 2017, Brazil 13 RCTsa (5 RCTs eligible for this overview) Adults and children with DM Mobile health apps Any intervention Blood glucose, HbA1c, total cholesterol, weight, HDL, LDL, triglycerides, BP, quality of life Did not address the limitations of their review and how it compares with multitude of other similar diabetes app reviews. Minimal effort in evaluating and addressing the risk of bias in the primary studies. No sensitivity analysis was done to integrate risk of bias assessment to results.
Firth11 2017, UK, USA, Australia 9 RCTsa (2 RCTs eligible) Adults with anxiety Smartphone-supported psychological interventions to reduce anxiety Waitlist, anti-anxiety medications, other non-smartphone interventions Changes in aspects of anxiety Risk of bias in the primary studies were addressed minimally. No sensitivity analysis was done to integrate risk of bias assessment into results.
Flores-Mateo12 2015, Spain 9 RCTsa, 2 case-control studies (5 RCTs eligible) Obese and overweight adults and children Mobile apps that promote weight loss and increase in physical activity Traditional intervention, paper hand-out, paper diary etc. Body weight, BMI, and physical activity meta-analysis The physical activity meta-analysis showed high heterogeneity (I2 = 93%), which was not explained by any sensitivity analysis. Minimal effort in evaluating and addressing the risk of bias in the primary studies. No sensitivity analysis was done to integrate risk of bias assessment to results.
Payne13 2015, USA 14 RCTsa, 9 field, pilot or feasibility studies (7 RCTs eligible) Adults Mobile apps that disseminate health behaviour interventions Unclear Physical activity, diet, weight, alcohol consumption (binge drinking, frequency, blood alcohol concentration, etc.), HbA1c, sleep, stress, smoking, BMI Lacked clearly defined comparator interventions and outcome measures. No risk of bias assessment was done for the included studies. Limitations of the review are addressed minimally.
Schoeppe14 2016, Australia 20 RCTSa, 3 CTs, 4 pre-post studies (8 RCTs eligible) Adults and children Apps for influencing dietary intake, physical activity, sedentary behaviour Unclear Physical activity (MET min/week, steps, types, etc.), weight, BMI, BP, cardiorespiratory fitness, diet (fruit & vegetable servings), sedentary behaviour, etc. Lacked clearly defined comparator interventions and outcome measures. Inappropriate use of CONSORT checklist to assess the quality of the primary studies. No risk of bias assessment was done for the included studies.
Simblett15 2017, UK 39 RCTsa (1 RCT eligible) Adults with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) e-therapies Waitlist or other active controls other than the intervention PTSD (validated self-report or clinician-rated measures) The primary meta-analysis showed high heterogeneity (I2 = 81%), which was not explained by the subgroup and sensitivity analysis. Only one of the included studies was a smartphone app therapy.
  1. aNot all trials included in the systematic reviews were relevant for our overview purposes. Details of the eligible trials are provided in Table 2