Background: Using mobile applications in health is progressing rapidly; hence, assessing them is essential to ensure their quality and standards. The present study was designed to critically evaluate the quality of existing applications in the field of mental health.
Methods: In this is review the related keywords “Health and Mental health” were used in Persian and English to search in 4 application platforms: App Store, Google Play, Bazar (Persian version of Google Play), Sib app (Persian version of App Store). Inclusion criteria for the applications were either in Persian or English language and compatible with Android or IOS. The exclusion criteria were any application downloaded less than 100 times and those that were one dimensional such as only focusing on sleep disorder. A team of researchers reviewed each app in terms of two sets of criteria: 1) Mobile App Rating Scale (MARS) subdomain scores for reviewing engagement, functionality, esthetics, and information; and 2) personalization level.
Result: The search resulted in 958 apps, of which 61 had the inclusion criteria. Most of them (n=59, 97%) were rated as appropriate for all age groups and only two were designed for children. In MARS score, thirty-three percent (n=5) of the Persian apps received the rating of 2.5 or higher, while this score was 53 percent (n=27) for English applications. Eight application (13%) used dialogue boxes for personalization and 11 (18%) had feedback capability. None of the Persian apps could be personalized.
Conclusion: Although numerous apps are available, there are only few apps with personalization features, which should be considered as one of the key features when developing this type of apps.
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