Mobile health apps: An exploration of user-generated reviews in Google Play store on a physical activity application

Miznah Al-Abbadey, Megan Fong, Laura Joanne Wilde, Roger Ingham, Daniela Ghio

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    Objective. This study aimed to evaluate reviews that have been posted
    publicly on the app ‘MapMyRun’ to investigate which features were
    associated with usage of the app. A secondary aim was to determine
    whether MapMyRun consisted of specific behaviour change techniques
    that would have increased the likelihood of users being engaged with the
    Methods. Reviews posted on MapMyRun by users between 1st May 2017-
    30th April 2018 were extracted, coded and analysed using content
    Results. Eleven behaviour change techniques were identified among the
    features of MapMyRun. A total of 3,253 reviews met the
    inclusion/exclusion criteria, and 12 codes were developed. The codes
    were grouped into 8 subthemes within 2 main themes: ‘Effort’ and ‘Selfmonitoring’. Consistent with previous literature, ‘Goal-Setting’ and ‘SelfMonitoring of Behaviour’ were two techniques included in MapMyRun.
    Social features of MapMyRun facilitated competition among users, their
    family, and friends.
    Conclusions. This was the first qualitative review to assess a single
    mobile health physical activity app and analyse it from the perspectives
    of the users. Creators of future mobile health apps should focus on user
    friendliness and the use of social features, as both may increase the
    chances of users’ continued use with the app.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-12
    Number of pages12
    JournalDigital Health
    Early online date8 May 2021
    Publication statusPublished - 2021

    Bibliographical note

    This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (https://creativecommons. org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (


    • Behaviour change
    • obesity
    • MHealth
    • apps.


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