The Development of Sexual and Reproductive Health Content for In The Know Mobile Health App Open Access

Shaw, Charity (Spring 2021)

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Background: Black women in the United States face higher rates of sexually transmitted infections, HIV, infant and maternal mortality, unintended pregnancies, and pregnancy-related complications. Increased access to mobile technology among low-income communities has made the possibility of utilizing mobile apps as a platform to provide HIV prevention information for Black women a feasible option. For a Black woman living in Georgia, navigating the health system can be challenging, especially when trying to access sexual and reproductive health services. Half of Georgia's 159 counties have no OB-GYN and the state ranks 48th in the nation in healthcare coverage for women. Atlanta’s Center for Black Women’s Wellness (CBWW) has been working to address these disparities and most recently began the research process to create a mobile health app, In The Know.


Purpose: The purpose of this special studies project is to develop a content guide targeted at Black women at CBWW with the appropriate sexual and reproductive health information and resources. The content created for the guide will be incorporated into the app currently being created by developers and researchers at Georgia Tech, Emory University, and Morehouse School of Medicine. It will provide a usable, comprehensive, medically accurate, and culturally appropriate health tool for CBWW.

Methods: The health content for the app was developed with input from CBWW clients and staff through 23 in-depth interviews. Thematic analysis was conducted using MAXQDA software. Findings were translated into two user personas and a content guide to support app development. The content guide was created with reference to a variety of reliable medical and public health resources.


Results: The three themes that were identified as priority topics to be included for the content of the app were sexual and reproductive health, mental health, and preventive health. Subthemes included sexually transmitted infections, pregnancy and birth, pregnancy prevention, anxiety, depression, substance use. Data analysis identified the need for women to: be able to distinguish different kinds of STIs and related treatment, misinformation around management of sexual health, and get referrals to trusted providers; be familiar with a range of delivery options; and have access to mental health resources, particularly in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Two user stories were created to visualize the health concerns and wants of the target users of the app. A content guide was created to cover the themes identified during data analysis for integration into the app.


Conclusion: Further efforts should be made to expand on the curriculum after completion and usability testing of the first prototype of the app to ensure the needs of the Black women who will be using the app are met. This should be accomplished through continued collaboration with researchers, CBWW staff and clients, and developers.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction & Background

Problem Statement:

Purpose Statement/Objectives:

Significance Statement:

Definition of Terms and Abbreviations

Chapter 2: Review of Literature

Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Syphilis, and HIV.

Pregnancy & Contraceptives.

Sexual and Reproductive Health Disparities in Georgia.

Social Determinants and Historical Implications of Poor SRH Outcomes for Black Women

Benefits of mHealth Interventions in SRH

Computer-Based Interventions

Text Messaging.

Telephone Counseling.

Video Series.

Mobile Phone Applications.

Chapter 3 Methods

Population & Ethical Considerations:

Procedures & Data Collection:

Data Analysis:

Content Guide Development

Limitations & Delimitations:

Chapter 4 Results

Sexual and Reproductive Health

Mental Health

General Preventive Health

User Stories

Chapter 5 Discussion

Strengths & Limitations





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