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Promoting Health via mHealth Applications Using a French Version of the Mobile App Rating Scale: Adaptation and Validation Study

Abstract : Background In the recent decades, the number of apps promoting health behaviors and health-related strategies and interventions has increased alongside the number of smartphone users. Nevertheless, the validity process for measuring and reporting app quality remains unsatisfactory for health professionals and end users and represents a public health concern. The Mobile Application Rating Scale (MARS) is a tool validated and widely used in the scientific literature to evaluate and compare mHealth app functionalities. However, MARS is not adapted to the French culture nor to the language. Objective This study aims to translate, adapt, and validate the equivalent French version of MARS (ie, MARS-F). Methods The original MARS was first translated to French by two independent bilingual scientists, and their common version was blind back-translated twice by two native English speakers, culminating in a final well-established MARS-F. Its comprehensibility was then evaluated by 6 individuals (3 researchers and 3 nonacademics), and the final MARS-F version was created. Two bilingual raters independently completed the evaluation of 63 apps using MARS and MARS-F. Interrater reliability was assessed using intraclass correlation coefficients. In addition, internal consistency and validity of both scales were assessed. Mokken scale analysis was used to investigate the scalability of both MARS and MARS-F. Results MARS-F had a good alignment with the original MARS, with properties comparable between the two scales. The correlation coefficients (r) between the corresponding dimensions of MARS and MARS-F ranged from 0.97 to 0.99. The internal consistencies of the MARS-F dimensions engagement (ω=0.79), functionality (ω=0.79), esthetics (ω=0.78), and information quality (ω=0.61) were acceptable and that for the overall MARS score (ω=0.86) was good. Mokken scale analysis revealed a strong scalability for MARS (Loevinger H=0.37) and a good scalability for MARS-F (H=0.35). Conclusions MARS-F is a valid tool, and it would serve as a crucial aid for researchers, health care professionals, public health authorities, and interested third parties, to assess the quality of mHealth apps in French-speaking countries.
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https://hal-univ-lyon1.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03331985
Contributor : Laurie Fraticelli <>
Submitted on : Thursday, September 2, 2021 - 1:02:10 PM
Last modification on : Friday, September 3, 2021 - 3:22:52 AM

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Ina Saliasi, Prescilla Martinon, Emily Darlington, Colette Smentek, Delphine Tardivo, et al.. Promoting Health via mHealth Applications Using a French Version of the Mobile App Rating Scale: Adaptation and Validation Study. JMIR mHealth and uHealth, JMIR Publications, 2021, 9 (8), pp.e30480. ⟨10.2196/30480⟩. ⟨hal-03331985⟩

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