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Efficacy of interventions that use apps to improve diet, physical activity and sedentary behaviour: a systematic review

Overview of attention for article published in International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, December 2016
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (98th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (95th percentile)

Mentioned by

blogs
1 blog
twitter
160 tweeters
facebook
3 Facebook pages

Citations

dimensions_citation
556 Dimensions

Readers on

mendeley
1199 Mendeley
citeulike
1 CiteULike
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Title
Efficacy of interventions that use apps to improve diet, physical activity and sedentary behaviour: a systematic review
Published in
International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, December 2016
DOI 10.1186/s12966-016-0454-y
Pubmed ID
Authors

Stephanie Schoeppe, Stephanie Alley, Wendy Van Lippevelde, Nicola A. Bray, Susan L. Williams, Mitch J. Duncan, Corneel Vandelanotte

Abstract

Health and fitness applications (apps) have gained popularity in interventions to improve diet, physical activity and sedentary behaviours but their efficacy is unclear. This systematic review examined the efficacy of interventions that use apps to improve diet, physical activity and sedentary behaviour in children and adults. Systematic literature searches were conducted in five databases to identify papers published between 2006 and 2016. Studies were included if they used a smartphone app in an intervention to improve diet, physical activity and/or sedentary behaviour for prevention. Interventions could be stand-alone interventions using an app only, or multi-component interventions including an app as one of several intervention components. Outcomes measured were changes in the health behaviours and related health outcomes (i.e., fitness, body weight, blood pressure, glucose, cholesterol, quality of life). Study inclusion and methodological quality were independently assessed by two reviewers. Twenty-seven studies were included, most were randomised controlled trials (n = 19; 70%). Twenty-three studies targeted adults (17 showed significant health improvements) and four studies targeted children (two demonstrated significant health improvements). Twenty-one studies targeted physical activity (14 showed significant health improvements), 13 studies targeted diet (seven showed significant health improvements) and five studies targeted sedentary behaviour (two showed significant health improvements). More studies (n = 12; 63%) of those reporting significant effects detected between-group improvements in the health behaviour or related health outcomes, whilst fewer studies (n = 8; 42%) reported significant within-group improvements. A larger proportion of multi-component interventions (8 out of 13; 62%) showed significant between-group improvements compared to stand-alone app interventions (5 out of 14; 36%). Eleven studies reported app usage statistics, and three of them demonstrated that higher app usage was associated with improved health outcomes. This review provided modest evidence that app-based interventions to improve diet, physical activity and sedentary behaviours can be effective. Multi-component interventions appear to be more effective than stand-alone app interventions, however, this remains to be confirmed in controlled trials. Future research is needed on the optimal number and combination of app features, behaviour change techniques, and level of participant contact needed to maximise user engagement and intervention efficacy.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 160 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 1,199 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Netherlands 1 <1%
Canada 1 <1%
Unknown 1197 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 223 19%
Student > Ph. D. Student 160 13%
Student > Bachelor 160 13%
Researcher 111 9%
Student > Doctoral Student 53 4%
Other 197 16%
Unknown 295 25%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Nursing and Health Professions 173 14%
Medicine and Dentistry 158 13%
Psychology 114 10%
Sports and Recreations 99 8%
Computer Science 82 7%
Other 224 19%
Unknown 349 29%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 116. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 17 December 2021.
All research outputs
#285,806
of 22,067,443 outputs
Outputs from International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
#80
of 1,893 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#7,657
of 426,072 outputs
Outputs of similar age from International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
#5
of 99 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 22,067,443 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 98th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 1,893 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 28.1. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 95% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 426,072 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 98% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 99 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 95% of its contemporaries.