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Mobile health technologies for the management of menstrual cycle: a systematic review of online stores in Brazil

Grant number: 20/13066-3
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): December 01, 2020
Effective date (End): November 30, 2021
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy
Principal Investigator:Patricia Driusso
Grantee:Carolina Carreira Breda
Home Institution: Centro de Ciências Biológicas e da Saúde (CCBS). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil

Abstract

Menstruation is a natural process of the menstrual cycle that occurs in more than 300 million women a day. Abnormal menstrual cycles can lead to the discovery of possible health disorders, in addition to hormonal instabilities during the cycle that can cause symptoms such as headaches, mood fluctuation, anxiety, stress and even loss of productivity. In Brazil, it is estimated that more than 50% of the country's population are women and these, 30.67% are of reproductive age. The literature shows that menstrual disorders in this population are associated with several factors, therefore, it is necessary to have adequate tools to educate, monitor and help women to identify themselves as changes in the menstrual cycle that can be alert to possible health disorders. Mobile health apps offer enormous potential to assist those seeking to improve health-using technology as a self-management tool, being used to monitor the mid-cycle and to track signs and symptoms, control menstruation data, mood fluctuation, sexual activity, use of contraceptive methods and periods of fertility to plan pregnancy. Although there is potential in using an application for monitoring, most applications were not generated for the target audience, since it does not involve users or a health specialist in its development phase. Therefore, a significant permanent interest in the development and evaluation of the effectiveness of applications for the menstrual cycle, by health specialists, health researchers and users willing to improve self-management during the monitoring of the menstrual cycle. Objective: systematically assess the availability of health apps for the menstrual cycle in Brazilian online stores; assess engagement, user interface, experience and quality of information to develop more user-centric apps that help healthcare professionals and users on the best mobile technologies available in Brazil. Methods: a systematic review of all mobile applications that were developed or designed between 2018-2020 available on the AppStore and Google Play in Brazil will be carried out. The study will be registered in the international database of systematic reviews (PROSPERO). Data analysis: The information and descriptions of the applications will be added to a spreadsheet in Excel. The evaluation of the quality of the applications will be made using the rating scale of the mobile application.