Health Care Apps Reported in Newspapers: Content Analysis.
Authors of this article are:
Al Bawab AQ, AlQahtani F, McElnay J.
A summary of the article is shown below:
BACKGROUND: Newspapers are considered one of the most viewed and influential media sources in both the United Kingdom and United States. However, information about how newspapers portray health care apps to the readers has been lacking.OBJECTIVE: This study investigated the reporting on health care apps in newspapers published in the United Kingdom and United States.METHODS: The Nexis UK database was used to identify and select relevant articles. Systematic content analysis of the articles that met the inclusion criteria (articles of any format that contained reference to health care apps or medical apps) within the highest circulated newspapers in the United Kingdom and United States over a period of 10 years (2006-2015) was conducted. Interrater reliability of coding was established using a 10% sample of the chosen articles.RESULTS: A total of 220 (151 UK and 69 US) relevant newspaper articles were retrieved. Health care apps were most frequently reported on in the Daily Mail and The Guardian (UK newspapers) and in the New York Times and the Washington Post (US newspapers). An exponential rise in published scientific articles (PubMed) on health care-related apps was noted during the study period. A total of 26.4% (58/220) and 19.1% (42/220) of the retrieved newspaper articles appeared in the features and main news sections, respectively. General information about health care apps was the main theme coved by the newspapers (45.9%, 101/220). Most of the articles represented a societal point of view (72.3%, 159/220). The main focus of the articles was on general health matters (48.2%, 106/220) and specific disease matters (36.8%, 81/220). Diabetes was the most frequently mentioned disease in the articles. A high proportion (91.4%, 201/220) of the articles mentioned benefits of using health care apps mainly for personalized care, whereas 24.1% (53/220) of the articles commented on related risks such as anxiety and confidentiality issues. Almost half (45.9%, 101/220) of the articles mentioned potential facilitators to the use of apps; less than 10% (16/220) discussed barriers. Most of the articles (83.6%, 184/220) were judged as having balanced judgment on the present topic and more than half (60.0%, 132/220) of the articles were judged to be of generally low quality.CONCLUSIONS: Health care apps were not widely reported in newspaper articles in the United Kingdom and United States over the study period; however, there appeared to be much more recent interest. Characteristically, the articles focused more frequently on societal impact and on general health rather than on disease-specific apps.©Abdel Qader Al Bawab, Fahad AlQahtani, James McElnay. Originally published in JMIR Mhealth and Uhealth (http://mhealth.jmir.org), 22.10.2018.
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