Usability and Utility of a Mobile App to Deliver Health-Related Content to an Older Adult Population: Pilot Noncontrolled Quasi-Experimental Study

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BACKGROUND: Digital patient-centered interventions may be important tools for improving and promoting social interaction, health, and well-being among older adults. In this regard, we developed a mobile app called DigiAdherence for an older adult population, which consisted of easy-to-access short videos and messages, to improve health-related knowledge among them and prevent common health conditions, such as falls, polypharmacy, treatment adherence, nutritional problems, and physical inactivity.

OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to assess the usability and utility of the DigiAdherence app among Portuguese older adults 65 years or older.

METHODS: In this pilot noncontrolled quasi-experimental study, older adults who were patients at the primary health care center in Portimão, Portugal, and owned a smartphone or tablet were recruited. Participants were assessed at baseline, given access to the DigiAdherence app for 1 month, and assessed again immediately after 30 days (first assessment) and 60 days after stopping the use of the app (second assessment). App usability and utility (primary outcomes) were analyzed in the first follow-up assessment using a structured questionnaire with 8 items. In the second follow-up assessment, our focus was on knowledge acquired through the app. Secondary outcomes such as treatment adherence and health-related quality of life were also assessed.

RESULTS: The study included 26 older adults. Most participants rated the different functionalities of the app positively and perceived the app as useful, attractive, and user-friendly (median score of 6 on a 7-point Likert scale). In addition, after follow-up, participants reported having a sense of security and greater knowledge in preventing falls (16/24, 67%) and managing therapies and polypharmacy (16/26, 62%).

CONCLUSIONS: The DigiAdherence mobile app was useful and highly accepted by older adults, who developed more confidence regarding health-related knowledge.


Original languageEnglish
Article numbere46151
JournalJMIR Formative Research
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 17 May 2024


  • DigiAdherence
  • ICT
  • adherence
  • application
  • compliance
  • engagement
  • falls
  • mHealth
  • mobile app
  • nutrition
  • older adults
  • patient-centered
  • physical activity
  • pilot study
  • prevention
  • technology
  • tool
  • treatment
  • usability
  • utility


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