Mobile phone apps for smoking cessation: Quality and usability among smokers with psychosis.


Ferron JC, Brunette MF, Geiger P, Marsch LF, Adachi-Mejia AM, Bartels SJ. (2017). Mobile phone apps for smoking cessation: Quality and usability factors. JMIR Human Factors. 4(1):e7. doi: 10.2196/humanfactors.5933

Researchers searched the Apple and Google app marketplaces for smoking cessation apps in English and randomly selected 100 of these apps to review for usability. After reviewing app content, researchers eliminated an additional 27 apps that did not meet inclusion criteria. Researchers classified each app based on content and rated each app for adherence to practice guidelines for smoking cessation treatment. Researchers then recruited 21 smokers with identified psychotic disorders to use a sample of apps while verbally describing their thoughts about the app. Participants also completed the Technology Acceptance Model assessment for each app. Each app was reviewed by five to six participants. Almost a quarter of apps (24%) included educational content, another 18% were calculators, and 12% were hypnosis apps. Most apps (69%) were rated 10/60 or less for adherence to practice; average score was 11.47. Common themes that emerged from participants comments during usability testing were: (1) apps were easy to use but included too much text and too few interactive features, (2) apps used symbols, vocabulary, or labels that were difficult to understand, limiting comprehension, (3) directions for using the apps were subtly displayed, so users did not notice or understand them, limiting navigation, and (4) apps did not include specific instruction about how to use cessation skills. Researchers concluded that most apps available do not adhere to treatment guidelines and would be difficult to use for smokers with psychotic disorders