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Patient focused oral hygiene Apps: An assessment of quality (using MARS) and knowledge content

Sharif, M; Alkadhimi, A; (2019) Patient focused oral hygiene Apps: An assessment of quality (using MARS) and knowledge content. British Dental Journal , 227 pp. 383-386. 10.1038/s41415-019-0665-0. Green open access

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Abstract

Introduction: Smart phone apps can be a valuable means for education and prevention to improve the health of children, adolescents and adults. A recent review of apps has revealed that there are over 1,000 patient focused oral hygiene apps available on the Apple App store and Google Play (Android) store. Objective: The purpose of this research is to objectively assess the quality of 20 commercially available patient focused oral hygiene apps using the Mobile App Rating Scale (MARS). Furthermore, the accuracy of oral hygiene related information contained within the apps will be assessed. Methods: Apps meeting inclusion criteria were evaluated for: (1) quality using the MARS tool and (2) information accuracy using an 8-item evidence-based checklist relating to important aspects in the prevention of caries and periodontal disease. Results: The mean app quality score was 3.4/5 (2.3-4.9). On average, of the four MARS subscales assessed ‘functionality’ had the highest mean score (4) and ‘information’ had the lowest (2.9). With regard to the accuracy of information contained within these apps only 2 were found to contain accurate information for all 8 items of the checklist. The majority (60%) of the apps (n=13) did not contain information relating to at least 50% or more of the items present. Conclusions: Currently available apps appear to be functional, however there is a need to improve engagement, aesthetics and most importantly information content of apps.

Type: Article
Title: Patient focused oral hygiene Apps: An assessment of quality (using MARS) and knowledge content
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/s41415-019-0665-0
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41415-019-0665-0
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Eastman Dental Institute
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Eastman Dental Institute > EDI Craniofacial and Development Sci
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10070110
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