Clinicians’ usages patterns and criteria for recommending health apps


  • M. Sucala
  • R. Soflau
  • R. Cardos
  • S. Stefan


Recent studies show that apps can support a variety of health-related tasks including patient education, symptom monitoring, behavioral modification, or psychosocial support. However, the extent of health-related apps use is highly dependent on its adoption by healthcare providers, so knowing which criteria clinicians use when using or recommending a health app intervention is crucial. Therefore, given the lack of data on clinicians’ usages patterns and criteria for using and recommending health apps, the goal of this study was to survey health app use from the clinicians’ perspective using a sample of behavioral health providers. Clinicians (N = 275) responded to an online survey. Results indicate that although most clinicians own mobile devices and personally use smartphone and internet for health-related purposes, less than 50% ever used and recommended health apps themselves. When they previously recommended health apps, most clinicians chose to rely on personal experience, followed by scientific criteria. Recommending a health app was predicted only by the previous use of such apps, p<.05. This study further supports the idea that familiarity with mobile technology (health apps in particular), and efforts to provide evidence for apps’ efficacy are relevant factors in encouraging clinicians’ to use and recommend them in practice.





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