Apps and wearables to monitor physical activity and sedentary behaviour: Preliminary findings from a qualitative systematic review on barriers and facilitators

Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster


P2.01.16 SIG: E- & m-health Purpose: Monitoring physical activity (PA) and sedentary behaviour (SB) using mobile phone applications (apps) and wearable technology (wearables) may improve PA and SB. So far systematic review evidence summarises quantitative studies investigating the acceptability, efficacy and effectiveness of apps and wearables related to physical activity and sedentary behaviour. Qualitative research can provide an in-depth insight into the barriers and facilitators of using apps and wearables. This systematic review aims to synthesise the qualitative literature on the barriers and facilitators of using apps and wearables to automatically monitor PA and SB in adults. Methods: This review is registered in PROSPERO (CRD42017070194). Scientific databases including CINAHL Complete, MEDLINE, PsycINFO, SPORTDiscus, Cochrane Library and Scopus were searched for relevant studies published from 1st January 2012 to 1st September 2017. Studies were included if they 1) included adults who used an app or wearable to automatically monitor PA and/or SB 2) explored the barriers and/or facilitators of using such technology and 3) were published in English. Following double screening of 4,550 titles and abstracts, full texts of potentially eligible papers were screened to identify studies using qualitative approaches to explore barriers and facilitators of using apps and/or wearables to automatically monitor PA and/or SB. Discrepancies were resolved through discussion or by consulting a third screener. Relevant excerpts (quotes and text) from the included papers will be extracted and analysed with thematic synthesis. The Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) Qualitative Research Checklist will be used to appraise included studies. Findings: Initial findings highlight barriers to using apps and wearables to monitor PA and SB are around the accuracy of the devices in detecting activity and the comfort and aesthetics of the device. Facilitators for using the devices include increasing individuals' motivation to be more physically active and self-awareness of PA levels. Results are to be confirmed as full text screening and data analysis is expected to be completed by July 2018. Conclusion: This presentation will discuss the preliminary findings of the thematic synthesis. The results of this work will be useful for those intending to monitor PA and/or SB using these technologies.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jun 2018


Cite this