Table 1

Inclusion and exclusion criteria

Inclusion criteriaExclusion criteria
English language smartphone appsApps designed for tablet computers
Apps available through Google play and iTunes or NHS app storeNon-English language apps
Apps included in the medical, health and wellness or health and fitness section of Google play and iTunes and all NHS appsApps in other sections of the stores
Apps including gamification techniques: rewards, prizes, avatars, badges, leaderboards, competitions, health-related challengesSmartphone apps that do not contain gamification techniques
Smartphone apps targeted at users of any ageSmartphone apps designed for healthcare professionals
Free and paid smartphone appsApps not targeting to change a physical health behaviour
Apps targeting to change a physical health behaviourApps that did not have customer ratings available
  • Inclusion and exclusion criteria that were established for the initial search of the official Apple, Android app stores and NHS Health Apps Library aiming to identify all ‘top-rated’ smartphone apps incorporating gaming elements, which were marketed to the general public.

  • NHS, National Health Service.