A Scoping Review and a Taxonomy to Assess the Impact of Mobile Apps on Cancer Care Management

SOURCE: Article in Journals – Cancers; Publisher: MDPI, Published: 15 March 2023

A Scoping Review and a Taxonomy to Assess the Impact of Mobile Apps on Cancer Care Management

by Eshita Dhar1,2, Adama Ns Bah1,2, Irene Alice Chicchi Giglioli3, Silvia Quer3, Luis Fernandez-Luque3, Francisco J. Núñez-Benjumea4, Shwetambara Malwade2, Mohy Uddin5, Umashankar Upadhyay1,2,6 and Shabbir Syed-Abdul1,2,7,*

1Graduate Institute of Biomedical Informatics, College of Medical Sciences and Technology, Taipei Medical University, Taipei 106, Taiwan
2International Center for Health Information Technology, College of Medical Science and Technology, Taipei Medical University, Taipei 106, Taiwan
3Adhera Health, Inc., Palo Alto, CA 94304, USA
4Innovation and Data Analysis Unit, Virgen Macarena University Hospital, Andalusian Health Service, Seville 41009, Spain
5Research Quality Management Section, King Abdullah International Medical Research Center, King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Ministry of National Guard-Health Affairs, Riyadh 11426, Saudi Arabia
6Faculty of Applied Sciences and Biotechnology, Shoolini University of Biotechnology and Management Sciences, Solan 173229, Himachal Pradesh, India
7School of Gerontology and Long-Term Care, College of Nursing, Taipei Medical University, Taipei 110, Taiwan
*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Mobile Health (mHealth) has a great potential to enhance the self-management of cancer patients and survivors. Our study aimed to perform a scoping review to evaluate the impact and trends of mobile application-based interventions on adherence and their effects on health outcomes among the cancer population. In addition, we aimed to develop a taxonomy of mobile-app-based interventions to assist app developers and healthcare researchers in creating future mHealth cancer care solutions. Relevant articles were screened from the online databases PubMed, EMBASE, and Scopus, spanning the time period from 1 January 2016 to 31 December 2022. Of the 4135 articles initially identified, 55 were finally selected for the review. In the selected studies, breast cancer was the focus of 20 studies (36%), while mixed cancers were the subject of 23 studies (42%). The studies revealed that the usage rate of mHealth was over 80% in 41 of the 55 studies, with factors such as guided supervision, personalized suggestions, theoretical intervention foundations, and wearable technology enhancing adherence and efficacy. However, cancer progression, technical challenges, and unfamiliarity with devices were common factors that led to dropouts. We also proposed a taxonomy based on diverse theoretical foundations of mHealth interventions, delivery methods, psycho-educational programs, and social platforms. We suggest that future research should investigate, improve, and verify this taxonomy classification to enhance the design and efficacy of mHealth interventions.

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