Smartphones have been found to be more effective in providing information to teenage girls about sexual health than traditional methods, a study has found.
“We found that a smartphone application is a feasible sexual health educational tool that is appealing to teenage girls. In fact, our participants recommended the application as a valuable resource to learn about comprehensive sexual health,” said Lynae M. Brayboy, researcher at the Brown University in the US.
For their research, published in the Journal of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology, Brayboy and her team recruited 39 girls aged 12 to 17 to participate in a two-phase prospective study.
In phase one, 22 girls assessed a sexual health questionnaire in focus groups. In phase two, 17 girls used the Girl Talk application for two weeks and answered the revised sexual health questionnaire and interview questions before and after the application use.
The participants’ responses to the sexual health questionnaire, interviews and time viewing the application were used to determine feasibility and desirability of Girl Talk.
The researchers explained that Girl Talk was used on average during participants’ free time on weekends. The reported usefulness of Girl Talk as a sexual health application increased significantly from baseline (35.3 per cent) to follow-up (94.1 per cent).
“More than three-quarters of the participants were exposed to sexual health education before using Girl Talk, but 94.1 per cent of participants stated that the application provided new and more detailed information than health classes,” Brayboy added.