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A Systematic Review of Apps using Mobile Criteria for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention (mCAPP)

Elizabeth Chen and Emily Rose Mangone


December 30, 2016
Abt's Emily Mangone co-authored this study which developed a preliminary evaluation framework for the assessment of mobile apps for adolescent and young adult pregnancy prevention and used this framework to assess available apps in the Apple App Store and Google Play that targeted adolescents and young adults with family planning and pregnancy prevention support. 

The authors developed an assessment rubric called Mobile Criteria for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention (mCAPP) for data extraction using evidence-based and promising best practices from the literature. mCAPP comprises 4 domains: (1) app characteristics, (2) user interface features, (3) adolescent pregnancy prevention best practices, and (4) general sexual and reproductive health (SRH) features.

The search returned 4043 app descriptions in the Apple App Store (462) and Google Play (3581). After screening for inclusion criteria, 22 unique apps were included in the analysis. Included apps targeted teens in primarily developed countries, and the most common user interface features were clinic and health service locators.

The conclusion states that the quality and scope of apps for adolescent pregnancy prevention varies, indicating that developers and researchers may need a supportive framework. mCAPP can help researchers and developers consider mobile-relevant evidence-based best practices for adolescent SRH as they develop teen pregnancy prevention apps. Given the novelty of the mobile approach, further research is needed on the impact of mCAPP criteria via mobile channels on adolescent health knowledge, behaviors, and outcomes.

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