Title: 0755 - Systematic Stepwise Process Identifying High-Quality Apps for Dental Caries Prevention


Rebecca Chen (Presenter)
The Univeristy of Sydney

Grace Wong, The Univeristy of Sydney
Michelle Irving, The Univeristy of Sydney
Heiko Spallek, The Univeristy of Sydney
Woosung Sohn, The Univeristy of Sydney
Clara Chow, The University of Sydney


Objectives: To systematically review apps related to dental caries prevention available in the Australian Google Play and Apple iTunes store to assess their features and their quality in order to identify apps, that could be recommended for patients.

Methods: A modified validated stepwise approach was used to systematically assess both the features and quality of apps. This methodology included 1) specific search strategy, 2) an eligibility assessment, 3) a screening process using an inclusion and exclusion criteria, 4) a summary review using app store metrics, 5) data extraction using a predefined table of functionality features, 6) classification of the apps as being basic or advanced depending on the number of caries risk factors the app addressed. To assess the quality specifically the validated Mobile App Rating Scale (MARS) quality assessment tool, which considers five domains namely: engagement, functionality, aesthetics, information, and subjective quality; was employed.

Results: From the initial search strategy a total of 543 apps were found. After screening, we identified 66 apps related to dental caries prevention of which 61 were found in Google Play, 8 in iTunes, and only 3 appear in both app stores; with an average app store rating of 4.1/ 5 stars. For features, 89%(n=59) were considered basic, only addressing one risk factor, most often tooth brushing (n=24). For quality, based on the MARS, only 14%(n=9) were considered high-quality. Only one app was classified as having both advanced features and fulfilling all five categories of the MARS quality assessment tool.

Conclusions: This systematic stepwise process identified a small number of high-quality apps with basic features that could be recommended to patients, to be trialled for effectiveness in a future study. It also identified a lack of high-quality apps with advanced functionality features desirable for targeting the multifactorial nature of dental caries prevention, prompting future research and development.

Student Presenter

Disclosure Statement:
The submitter must disclose the names of the organizations with which any author have a relationship, the nature of the relationship, and the clinical or research area involved. The following is submitted: NONE