The quality and accuracy of mobile apps to prevent driving after drinking alcohol

Wilson, Hollie, Stoyanov, Stoyan R., Gandabhai, Shailen, & Baldwin, Alexander (2016) The quality and accuracy of mobile apps to prevent driving after drinking alcohol. JMIR mHealth and uHealth, 4(3), e98.

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Abstract

Background: Driving after the consumption of alcohol represents a significant problem globally. Individual prevention countermeasures such as personalized mobile apps aimed at preventing such behavior are widespread, but there is little research on their accuracy and evidence base. There has been no known assessment investigating the quality of such apps.

Objective: This study aimed to determine the quality and accuracy of apps for drink driving prevention by conducting a review and evaluation of relevant mobile apps.

Methods: A systematic app search was conducted following PRISMA guidelines. App quality was assessed using the Mobile App Rating Scale (MARS). Apps providing blood alcohol calculators (hereafter “calculators”) were reviewed against current alcohol advice for accuracy.

Results: A total of 58 apps (30 iOS and 28 Android) met inclusion criteria and were included in the final analysis. Drink driving prevention apps had significantly lower engagement and overall quality scores than alcohol management apps. Most calculators provided conservative blood alcohol content (BAC) time until sober calculations. None of the apps had been evaluated to determine their efficacy in changing either drinking or driving behaviors.

Conclusions: This novel study demonstrates that most drink driving prevention apps are not engaging and lack accuracy. They could be improved by increasing engagement features, such as gamification. Further research should examine the context and motivations for using apps to prevent driving after drinking in at-risk populations. Development of drink driving prevention apps should incorporate evidence-based information and guidance, lacking in current apps.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 98025
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: drink driving, alcohol, mobile apps, calculator, Mobile Application Rating Scale, Blood Alcohol Content
DOI: 10.2196/mhealth.5961
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) > Forensic Psychology (170104)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Psychology not elsewhere classified (170199)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety - Qld (CARRS-Q)
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Funding:
  • IHBI/NA
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2016 Hollie Wilson, Stoyan R Stoyanov, Shailen Gandabhai, Alexander Baldwin
Copyright Statement: This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/), 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 http://mhealth.jmir.org/, as well as this copyright and license information must be included.
Deposited On: 14 Aug 2016 23:10
Last Modified: 15 Aug 2016 22:44

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