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19.05.2017 | Systematic Reviews | Ausgabe 2/2017

Translational Behavioral Medicine 2/2017

A systematic review of smartphone applications for smoking cessation

Translational Behavioral Medicine > Ausgabe 2/2017
MS Brianna L. Haskins, MA, MPH Donna Lesperance, MS4 Patric Gibbons, PhD Edwin D. Boudreaux
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1007/​s13142-017-0492-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Researchers: This paper will help guide future research efforts in the development and evaluation of mobile health applications for tobacco cessation by drawing attention to the scarcity of scientifically vetted mobile health apps, the difficulty in finding those which are supported by scientific evidence, and the need for a more efficient method for evaluating such technology-based health interventions.
Practitioners: This paper will help guide practitioners toward evidence-based mobile health applications when recommending mHealth and eHealth tools for their patients.
Policymakers: This paper will inform policymakers about the scarcity of proven scientifically supported mobile health applications for smoking cessation and inform decisions regarding the evaluation and regulation of such applications.


Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the USA. However, limited data exists regarding smoking cessation mobile app quality and intervention effectiveness. Innovative and scalable interventions are needed to further alleviate the public health implications of tobacco addiction. The proliferation of the smartphone and the advent of mobile phone health interventions have made treatment more accessible than ever. The purpose of this review was to examine the relation between published scientific literature and available commercial smartphone health apps for smoking cessation to identify the percentage of scientifically supported apps that were commercially available to consumers and to determine how many of the top commercially available apps for smoking cessation were supported by the published scientific literature. Adhering to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines, apps were reviewed in four phases: (1) identified apps from the scientific literature, (2) searched app stores for apps identified in the literature, (3) identified top apps available in leading app stores, and (4) determined which top apps available in stores had scientific support. Seven articles identified six apps with some level of scientific support, three (50%) were available in at least one app store. Conversely, among the top 50 apps suggested by each of the leading app stores, only two (4%) had any scientific support. While half of the scientifically vetted apps remain available to consumers, they are difficult to find among the many apps that are identified through app store searches.

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Supplemental Table 1 (DOCX 17.4 kb)
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