Assessing the Readability of App Descriptions and Investigating its Role in the Choice of mHealth Apps: Retrospective and Prospective Analyses

Wu Chen Su, Khyati Y. Mehta, Kirandeep Gill, Peng Yeh, Ming Yuan Chih, Danny T.Y. Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

People with low health literacy are more likely to use mobile apps for health information. The choice of mHealth apps can affect health behaviors and outcomes. However, app descriptions may not be very readable to the target users, which can negatively impact app adoption and utilization. In this study, we assessed the readability of mHealth app descriptions and explored the relationship between description readability and other app metadata, as well as description writing styles. The results showed that app descriptions were at eleventh- to fifteenth-grade level, with only 6% of them meeting the readability recommendation (third- to seventh-grade level). The description readability played a vital role in predicting app installs when an app had no reviews. The content analysis showed copy-paste behaviors and identified two potential causes for low readability. More work is needed to improve the readability of app descriptions and optimize mHealth app adoption and utilization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1139-1148
Number of pages10
JournalAMIA ... Annual Symposium proceedings. AMIA Symposium
Volume2021
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

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©2021 AMIA - All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (all)

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