How Is Quality of mHealth Interventions for Cancer Survivors Defined and Described? An Umbrella Review

Timothy Tune, Shaun Goh, Patricia A.H. Williams, Bogda Koczwara

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


PURPOSE: Although there are commonly accepted criteria of what defines quality of health care including cancer care, less is known about what defines quality of mHealth interventions in health care. The aim of this review was to identify how quality of mHealth interventions for cancer survivors is described and measured. METHODS: CINAHL, EmCare, JBI, Medline, SCOPUS, and ProQuest databases from January 2008 to January 2020 were searched. Review papers with search terms related to mobile devices, quality, and cancer relevant to adults with cancer were included. Interventions needed to consist of mHealth technologies, such as mobile applications or short message service, or wearable devices. Title and abstract screening, full-text screening, and data extraction were performed independently by two reviewers. Conflicts were resolved by a third reviewer. Reviews were evaluated for coverage of quality according to six metrics defined by the Institute of Medicine: patient-centeredness, equitability, safety, effectiveness, timeliness, and efficiency. Any additional quality items were recorded. A Measurement Tool to Assess systematic Reviews (AMSTAR) was used to rate the quality of the reviews included. RESULTS: The initial search yielded 766 papers with seven systematic reviews meeting the eligibility criteria. Four papers were of AMSTAR moderate quality, with three of low quality. The median number of quality metrics reported in a review was two (the range was 1-4). Efficacy and safety and timeliness and efficiency were most reported (n = 4), followed by usability (n = 3), equitability and access (n = 2), privacy and security (n = 2), and patient-centeredness (n = 2). CONCLUSION: There is great variability in how quality of mHealth interventions is defined with no reviews addressing all quality metrics. A comprehensive approach to measure quality of mHealth interventions is needed.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2100203
Number of pages13
JournalJCO clinical cancer informatics
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2022


  • Cancer
  • Survivorship
  • mHealth
  • Patient outcomes


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