Methods and Evaluation Criteria for Apps and Digital Interventions for Diabetes Self-Management: Systematic Review
AuthorLarbi, Dillys; Randine, Pietro; Årsand, Eirik; Antypas, Konstantinos; Bradway, Meghan; Gabarron, Elia
Objective: This review aims to identify which methods and criteria are used to evaluate apps and digital interventions for diabetes self-management, and to describe how patients were involved in these evaluations.
Methods: We searched CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE, and Web of Science for articles published from 2015 that referred to the evaluation of apps and digital interventions for diabetes self-management and involved patients in the evaluation. We then conducted a narrative qualitative synthesis of the findings, structured around the included studies’ quality, methods of evaluation, and evaluation criteria.
Results: Of 1681 articles identified, 31 fulfilled the inclusion criteria. A total of 7 articles were considered of high confidence in the evidence. Apps were the most commonly used platform for diabetes self-management (18/31, 58%), and type 2 diabetes (T2D) was the targeted health condition most studies focused on (12/31, 38%). Questionnaires, interviews, and user-group meetings were the most common methods of evaluation. Furthermore, the most evaluated criteria for apps and digital diabetes self-management interventions were cognitive impact, clinical impact, and usability. Feasibility and security and privacy were not evaluated by studies considered of high confidence in the evidence.
Conclusions: There were few studies with high confidence in the evidence that involved patients in the evaluation of apps and digital interventions for diabetes self-management. Additional evaluation criteria, such as sustainability and interoperability, should be focused on more in future studies to provide a better understanding of the effects and potential of apps and digital interventions for diabetes self-management.