Assessing the Content and Quality of Digital Tools for Managing Gestational Weight Gain: Systematic Search and Evaluation

Bonnie R. Brammall, Rhonda M. Garad, Jacqueline A. Boyle, Melanie J. Hayman, Susan J. de Jersey, Helena J. Teede, Quoc V. Hong, Alayna Carrandi, Cheryce L. Harrison

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Digital health resources have the potential to assist women in optimizing gestational weight gain (GWG) during pregnancy to improve maternal health outcomes. OBJECTIVE: In this study, we aimed to evaluate the quality and behavior change potential of publicly available digital tools (websites and apps) that facilitate GWG tracking. METHODS: Digital tools were identified using key search terms across website search engines and app stores and evaluated using the Mobile App Rating Scale, the App Behavior Change Scale, as well as criteria to evaluate the rigor and safety of GWG information. RESULTS: Overall, 1085 tools were screened for inclusion (162 websites and 923 apps), and 19 were deemed eligible. The mean Mobile App Rating Scale quality score was 3.31 (SD 0.53) out of 5, ranging from 2.26 to 4.39, and the mean App Behavior Change Scale score was 6 (SD 3.4) out of 21, ranging from 19 to 0. Of the 19 items used to evaluate rigor of GWG advice, most tools (n=11, 57.9%) contained ≤3 items. CONCLUSIONS: This review emphasizes the substantial limitations in current digital resources promoting the monitoring and optimization of GWG. Most tools were of low quality, had minimal behavior change potential, and were potentially unsafe, with minimal linkage to evidence-based information or partnership with health care.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere37552
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Medical Internet Research
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 25 Nov 2022


  • digital
  • gestational
  • pregnancy
  • tracking
  • weight

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