The reporting quality of published reviews of commercial and publicly available mobile health apps (mHealth app reviews): A scoping review protocol

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review



Reviews of commercial and publicly available smartphone (mobile) health applications (mHealth app reviews) are being undertaken and published. However, there is variation in the conduct and reporting of mHealth app reviews, with no existing reporting guidelines. Building on the PRISMA guidelines, we aim to develop the Consensus for APP Review Reporting Items (CAPPRRI) guidance, to support the conduct and reporting of mHealth app reviews. This scoping review of published mHealth app reviews will explore their alignment, deviation, and modification to the PRISMA 2020 items for systematic reviews and identify a list of possible items to include in CAPPRRI.

Method and analysis

We are following the Joanna Briggs Institute approach and Arksey and O’Malley’s five-step process. Patient and public contributors, mHealth app review, digital health research and evidence synthesis experts, healthcare professionals and a specialist librarian gave feedback on the methods. We will search SCOPUS, CINAHL Plus, AMED, EMBASE, Medline, APA PsycINFO and ACM Digital Library for articles reporting mHealth app reviews and use a two-step screening process to identify eligible articles. Information on whether the authors have reported, or how they have modified the PRISMA 2020 items in their reporting will be extracted. Data extraction will also include the article characteristics, protocol and registration information, review question frameworks used, information about the search and screening process, how apps have been evaluated, and evidence of stakeholder engagement. This will be analysed using a content synthesis approach and presented using descriptive statistics and summaries.

Ethics and dissemination

Ethical approval is not required. The findings will be disseminated through peer-reviewed journal publications (shared on our project website and on the EQUATOR Network website where the CAPPRRI guidance has been registered as under development), conference presentations and blog and social media posts in lay language.


This protocol is registered on OSF (

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere083364
JournalBMJ Open
Early online date4 Jul 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 Jul 2024


  • app review
  • mHealth
  • smartphone
  • research methods
  • reporting
  • scoping review


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