Quality of Mobile Phone and Tablet Mobile Apps for Speech Sound Disorders: Protocol for an Evidence-Based Appraisal Academic Article uri icon


  • Although mobile apps are readily available for speech sound disorders (SSD), their validity has not been systematically evaluated. This evidence-based appraisal will critically review and synthesize current evidence on available therapy apps for use by children with SSD.The main aims are to (1) identify the types of apps currently available for Android and iOS mobile phones and tablets, and (2) to critique their design features and content using a structured quality appraisal tool.This protocol paper presents and justifies the methods used for a systematic review of mobile apps that provide intervention for use by children with SSD. The primary outcomes of interest are (1) engagement, (2) functionality, (3) aesthetics, (4) information quality, (5) subjective quality, and (6) perceived impact. Quality will be assessed by 2 certified practicing speech-language pathologists using a structured quality appraisal tool. Two app stores will be searched from the 2 largest operating platforms, Android and iOS. Systematic methods of knowledge synthesis shall include searching the app stores using a defined procedure, data extraction, and quality analysis.This search strategy shall enable us to determine how many SSD apps are available for Android and for iOS compatible mobile phones and tablets. It shall also identify the regions of the world responsible for the apps' development, the content and the quality of offerings. Recommendations will be made for speech-language pathologists seeking to use mobile apps in their clinical practice.This protocol provides a structured process for locating apps and appraising the quality, as the basis for evaluating their use in speech pathology for children in English-speaking nations.

publication date

  • 2016