Digital Era of Mobile Communications and Smartphones: A Novel Analysis of Patient Comprehension of Cancer-Related Information Available Through Mobile Applications *

Christopher Kim, Arpan V. Prabhu, David R. Hansberry, Nitin Agarwal, Dwight E. Heron, Sushil Beriwal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Many Americans use smartphone-based mobile applications to acquire health information. Our study evaluated the readability of mobile application-based patient educational materials (PEMs) about five prevalent cancers in the United States. The Apple and Google mobile application marketplaces were queried for breast, colon, lung, prostate, and stomach cancer-related applications, which were subsequently screened for PEMs and assessed with 10 validated readability assessments. Twenty-one pertinent applications yielded 249 articles that were written at an 11.8 ± 2.3 grade level; only 12 (4.8%) articles were written below an eighth grade level. The majority of cancer-related PEMs were written at too difficult reading levels for American patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-133
Number of pages7
JournalCancer Investigation
Volume37
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 16 2019

Keywords

  • Apple app store
  • Apps
  • Google Play Store
  • Health literacy
  • Patient educational materials
  • Readability
  • Smartphone application

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