Background: Digital-learning tools such as mobile apps, are increasingly being used at various stages of the evidence-based practice cycle, for example, in evidence generation as study interventions to encourage patient self-management of long-term conditions; in knowledge transfer to support training of healthcare professionals; and, in the translation and dissemination of research evidence. Lack of stakeholder engagement in the design and poor transparency in the development methodology are limitations leading to variable quality. Over a 15-year period, we have developed a repository of open-access, high-quality reusable learning apps (RLOs) developed using an established methodology including stakeholder involvement at all stages, pedagogical design and peer review. Over 200 RLOs are being used globally and in a survey of use carried out in 2013, 13 217 questionnaires were analysed to establish impact and global reach. RLOs covering topics related to evidence-based healthcare were being used in 40 countries and by various users working in hospitals, universities and schools (Figure 1).
Objectives: 1) To describe the co-design development methodology leading to high-quality RLOs in evidence-based healthcare; 2) to report the findings of an updated and more extensive survey of their global use; and, 3) to make recommendations for the production of high-quality, digital-learning apps for promoting evidence-based healthcare across borders.
Methods: A more extensive and detailed analysis (building on that carried out in 2013) of the global use of the evidence-based health care RLOs is currently under way. The survey, which is optional, is kept short to encourage a high return rate. Closed questions asked about whether the users were students, lecturers, patients/carers; how they found out about the RLO; and, any problems using the RLO. Open questions asked what they most and least liked. Tracking details were also collected.
Results/Conclusions: The results from this large dataset will provide us with important feedback on the value of RLOs on evidence-based healthcare, developed using a co-design process in the UK, to users in other countries.