HumanInsight Developing an Unstructured Supplementary Service Data-based mobile phone app to provide adolescents with sexual reproductive health information: a human-centered design approach
BMC Med Res Methodol. 2022 Aug 4;22(1):213. doi: 10.1186/s12874-022-01689-4.
BACKGROUND: Adolescent pregnancies and sexually-transmitted infections continue to impact 15 - 19-year-olds across the globe. The lack of sexual reproductive health information (SRH) in resource-limited settings due to cultural and societal attitudes towards adolescent SRH could be contributing to the negative outcomes. Innovative approaches, including mobile phone technologies, are needed to address the need for reliable adolescent SRH information.
OBJECTIVE: The study aimed to co-design a Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) based mobile app prototype to provide confidential adolescent SRH information on-demand and evaluate the mobile app's usability and user experience.
METHODS: A human-centered design methodology was applied. This practice framework allowed the perspectives and feedback of adolescent users to be included in the iterative design process. To participate, an adolescent must have been 15 to 19 years old, resided in Kibra and would be able to access a mobile phone. Adolescents were enrolled for the alpha and field testing of the app prototype at different time-points. The Mobile Application Rating Scale (MARS) a multidimensional mobile phone evaluation tool was used to access the functionality, engagement, aesthetics and quality of information in the app. Responses from the MARS were reported as mean scores for each category and a mean of the aggregate scores making the app's quality score. The MARS data was also evaluated as categorical data, A Chi square test of independence was carried out to show significance of any observed differences using cumulative and inverse cumulative distribution functions.
RESULTS: During the usability test, 62/109 (54.9%) of the adolescents that were followed-up had used the app at least once, 30/62 (48.4%) of these were male participants and 32/62 (51.6%) female. On engagement, the app had a mean score of 4.3/5 (SD 0.44), 4.6/5 (SD 0.38) on functionality, 4.3/5 (SD 0.57) on aesthetics and 4.4/5 (SD 0.60) on the quality of information. The overall app quality mean score was 4.4/5 (SD 0.31). The app was described as 'very interesting' to use by 44/62 (70.9%) of the participants, 20/44 males and 24/44 females. The content was deemed to be either 'perfectly' or 'well targeted' on sexual reproductive health by 60/62 (96.7%) adolescents, and the app was rated 'best app' by 45/62 (72.6%) adolescents, 27/45 females and 18/45 males, with a p-value = 0.011.
CONCLUSIONS: Adolescents need on-demand, accurate and trusted SRH information. A mobile phone app is a feasible and acceptable way to deliver adolescent SRH information in resource-limited settings. The USSD mobile phone technology shows promise in the delivery of much needed adolescent SRH information on-demand..
PMID:35927636 | DOI:10.1186/s12874-022-01689-4
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