Development and validation of the user version of the Mobile Application Rating Scale (uMARS)

Stoyanov, Stoyan, Hides, Leanne, Kavanagh, David J., & Wilson, Hollie (2016) Development and validation of the user version of the Mobile Application Rating Scale (uMARS). JMIR Mhealth Uhealth, 4(2), e72.

View at publisher (open access)



  • The Mobile Application Rating Scale (MARS) provides a reliable method to assess the quality of mobile health (mHealth) apps. However, training and expertise in mHealth and the relevant health field is required to administer it.


  • This study describes the development and reliability testing of an end-user version of the MARS (uMARS).


  • The MARS was simplified and piloted with 13 young people to create the uMARS. The internal consistency and test-retest reliability of the uMARS was then examined in a second sample of 164 young people participating in a randomized controlled trial of a mHealth app. App ratings were collected using the uMARS at 1-, 3,- and 6-month follow up.


  • The uMARS had excellent internal consistency (alpha = .90), with high individual alphas for all subscales. The total score and subscales had good test-retest reliability over both 1-2 months and 3 months.


  • The uMARS is a simple tool that can be reliably used by end-users to assess the quality of mHealth apps.

Impact and interest:

1 citations in Web of Science®
Search Google Scholar™

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

17 since deposited on 17 Jul 2016
17 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 96970
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Australia, Internet, MARS, RCT, anxiety, anxiety disorders, app evaluation, app rating, app trial, cellphone, cognitive behavioral therapy, depression, depressive disorder, e-therapy, eHealth, emental disorder, end user, evidence-informed, mHealth, mHealth evaluation, mHealth implementation, mental health, mhealth trial, mobile application, mobile health, online, randomized control trial, reliability, research translation, smartphone, telemedicine, user testing, well being
DOI: 10.2196/mhealth.5849
ISSN: 2291-5222
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > TECHNOLOGY (100000) > OTHER TECHNOLOGY (109900) > Technology not elsewhere classified (109999)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Psychology not elsewhere classified (170199)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2016 Stoyan R Stoyanov, Leanne Hides, David J Kavanagh, Hollie Wilson. Originally published in JMIR Mhealth and Uhealth (, 10.06.2016.
Copyright Statement: This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work, first published in JMIR mhealth and uhealth, is properly cited. The complete bibliographic information, a link to the original publication on, as well as this copyright and license information must be included.
Deposited On: 17 Jul 2016 22:25
Last Modified: 20 Jul 2016 03:45

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page