The prevalence and usage of mobile health applications among mental health patients in Saudi Arabia

Nora Atallah, Mohamed Khalifa, Ashraf El Metwally, Mowafa Househ*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Mobile health (mHealth) applications provide new methods of engagement with patients and can help patients manage their mental health condition. Objective: The main objective of this study is to explore the prevalence of the use of mobile health applications for mental health patients in Saudi Arabia. Methods: A total of 376 participants with depression and/or anxiety completed an online survey distributed by social networks which asked questions relating to mobile phone ownership, uses of health applications, and utilization patterns to track mental health related issues. Results: Approximately, 46% of the participants reported running one or two healthcare related applications on their mobile phones. In all age groups, 64% of the participants used their mobile phones to access information related to their own health. Also, 64% of the participants expressed interest in using their own mobile phones to track and follow the progression of their depression and/or anxiety. Conclusions: Developing mobile health applications for Saudi mental health patients is needed since it can offer opportunities for patients, researchers, caregivers, and legislators to work together to improve the state of mental health care in Saudi Arabia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-168
Number of pages6
JournalComputer Methods and Programs in Biomedicine
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018


  • Engaging and enabling patients
  • Mental health
  • Mobile applications
  • Saudi Arabia


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