To identify and review phone applications (apps) that could be used by care workers to help them plan and provide palliative care in the aged and community care setting.
A scoping review. Searches were conducted in App Store and Google Play to identify apps relevant to care workers in the context of palliative and end of life care provision. Relevant apps were downloaded and evaluated. Apps allowing full access were additionally ranked against the Mobile Application Rating Scale (MARS). Information relating to the app as listed in the app stores were also extracted.
Of the 1,168 identified apps, only eight could be shortlisted for inclusion. The included apps were mostly English language and developed in high-income countries. The apps were primarily aimed at information provision, with limited content on palliative and end of life care. It was unclear if any of the apps were underpinned by evidence or theoretical frameworks, and none disclosed information on the app development process including involvement of end-users. The mean MARS score for full-access apps was 3.94, with the app iNotice for Carers scoring the highest score of 4.1.
Currently available care worker apps appear to have limited functionality and scope in relation to palliative and end of life care. There is opportunity for a co-designed care-worker app development endeavour that is underpinned by robust evidence, and has high-level usability and relevance.
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