Creating and sharing knowledge for telecommunications

Managing and Controlling Stress Using mHealth: Systematic Search in App Stores

Blázquez-Martín, C. B. ; Torre-Díez, I. ; Garcia-Zapirain, B. ; López-Coronado, M. L. ; Rodrigues, J. R.

JMIR mHealth and uHealth Vol. 6, Nº 5, pp. e111 - e111, May, 2018.

ISSN (print): 2291-5222
ISSN (online):

Journal Impact Factor: (in )

Digital Object Identifier: 10.2196/mhealth.8866

Background: Traditional stress management techniques have been proven insufficient to tackle the needs of today’s population. Computational-based techniques and now mobile health (mHealth) apps are showing promise to enable ease of use and access while educating end users on self-management.
Objective: The main aim of this paper was to put forward a systematic review of mHealth apps for stress management.
Methods: The scenario chosen for this study consists of a sample of the most relevant mHealth apps found on the British and Spanish online stores of the two main mobile operating systems: iOS and Android. The apps have been categorized and scored base on their impact, presence, number of results, language, and operating system.
Results: A total of 433 different mobile apps for stress management was analyzed. Of these apps, 21.7% (94/433) belonged to the “relaxing music” category, 10.9% (47/433) were in the “draw and paint” category, 1.2% (5/433) belonged to the “heart rate control” category, and 1.2% (5/433) fell under “integral methodology.” Only 2.0% (8/433) of the apps qualified as high or medium interest while 98.0% were low interest. Furthermore, 2.0% (8/433) of the apps were available on both iOS and Android, and 98% of apps ran on only one platform (iOS or Android).
Conclusions: There are many low-value apps available at the moment, but the analysis shows that they are adding new functionalities and becoming fully integrated self-management systems with extra capabilities such as professional assistance services and online support communities.