Mit Apps gegen den Tinnitus? Ein systematisches Review zu Qualität, Interventionselementen und Techniken der Verhaltensänderung

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Background: Various smartphone applications (apps) for people with tinnitus are available and promise tinnitus relief. Yet, it is difficult for people suffering from tinnitus and healthcare professionals to estimate their quality, potential, or risks. The current study aims to generate an overview of available tinnitus apps in the German language and to offer orientation for research and healthcare providers. Method: The most prominent stores were searched systematically (November 2020–April 2021; Google Play Store and Apple App Store). Apps specifically developed for tinnitus were evaluated by two independent raters using multiple approaches: a) a quality screening was performed using the German version of the Mobile App Rating Scale (MARS-G), b) intervention components were assessed using a newly developed list of categories, and c) implemented strategies for active tinnitus management were analyzed using behavior change techniques (BCTs). Results: The search yielded 1073 apps, of which 21 apps were analyzed. The apps’ overall quality as assessed by MARS‑G was average (M = 3.37, SD = 039). A lot of apps offered sounds (n = 18) and information (n = 9) or assessed tinnitus characteristics (n = 13). Out of 93 BCTs, 24 were identified at least once. Only one app was evaluated in non-randomized trials. Conclusion: Although a variety of apps are available, most of them focus on a few intervention components (e.g., sounds or information). Therefore, apps do not exploit their potential to impart important evidence-based content for tinnitus management. The app evaluation using multiple approaches points out potential for improvement.

Translated title of the contributionApps for tinnitus? A systematic review on quality, intervention components, and behavior change techniques
Original languageGerman
JournalBundesgesundheitsblatt - Gesundheitsforschung - Gesundheitsschutz
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)203-214
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 02.2024

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Wir danken Lea Liebchen für ihre Unterstützung in der Vorbereitung der Studie. Dieses Projekt wurde unterstützt durch die Abteilung für Gesundheitspsychologie und Angewandte Biologische Psychologie der Leuphana Universität Lüneburg. Die Finalisierung des Projektes und die Publikation wurden zu Teilen finanziert durch eine Förderung der Psychotherapieambulanz Marburg.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s).