'This app just gets me’: Assessing the quality, features and user reviews of menopause smartphone apps

Elizabeth Sillence*, Claire Hardy, Emma Kemp

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Mobile health (mHealth) apps are becoming a popular digital resource and in the last few years menopause smartphone apps have become more popular. While these apps often contain little healthcare professional (HCP) input or evidence-based information less is known about the specific features of the apps and whether users find the apps helpful in relation to their menopause experience. We conducted a quality, feature and written review analysis of 18 menopause apps. We assessed the overall quality of the apps using the Mobile App Rating Scale (MAR), identified features including tracking, data visualization and community elements and undertook a thematic analysis of the written reviews. The analysis showed that app quality was variable and features ranged from simple trackers to community elements, audio guides and personalized content. Reviews of apps were overwhelmingly positive in nature and the thematic analysis highlighted four themes: “empowering functions”, “I’m not alone,” “function wish list,” and “usability and privacy.” The apps encouraged self-reflection and built confidence around menopause discussions, especially with HCPs, while the community features encouraged a sense of togetherness. Additional, tailored functionality, alongside ease of use remains important to users. Menopause apps currently available on the market vary in terms of their quality and features but reviews indicate they are generally perceived as positive. Apps may have a role to play in supporting women’s menopause experience and further consideration of their role in relation to HCP consultations is required.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)156-172
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Consumer Health on the Internet
Volume27
Issue number2
Early online date26 May 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

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