Digital Sex Education: Availability and Quality of German Apps for Sexual Health Promotion

Muehlmann, Marlene and Lienert, Anna and Muehlan, Holger and Stach, Michael and Terhorst, Yannik and Messner, Eva-Maria (2021) Digital Sex Education: Availability and Quality of German Apps for Sexual Health Promotion. Z Sex Forsch, 34 (04). pp. 197-207. ISSN 0932-8114

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Official URL: https://www.thieme-connect.com/products/ejournals/abstract/10.1055/a-1669-7626


Introduction: German school curricula cannot entirely cover the contents of comprehensive sex education. An app targeting sexual health and sex education overall could support adolescents in their search for information as well as educators in their teaching. Objectives: This systematic review aims to examine the quality and content of German apps currently available in Google Play and the App Store which could be used in sex education and in sexual health promotion. Methods: Both app stores were screened using a web-crawler. We evaluated the quality of the identified apps using the German version of the “Mobile Application Rating Scale” MARS-G). Furthermore, the extent to which the apps can support comprehensive sex education in accordance with the (World Health Organization (WHO) and Federal Centre for Health Education (BzgA) was analyzed. Results: Out of 7 318 screened apps, six met the inclusion criteria. The overall quality of the apps was an average of M = 3.54 (SD = 0.65, min = 2.64, max = 4.45). The app “Bill Sanders” achieved results in all subdimensions of the MARS-G that were at the least acceptable. The app “Only Human”, developed by the psychosocial AIDS counseling center of the Caritas in Munich, stood out positively and covered almost all topics of sex education. Conclusion: German apps targeting sex education and sexual health were shown to be of medium quality. By means of the MARS-G, it became apparent that generally suitable apps have specific deficits, especially in terms of functionality, aesthetics, and subjective quality. The shortcomings identified should first of all be remedied in order to subsequently conduct scientific field evaluations examining the effectiveness of these apps. So far, scientific studies of this kind have not been conducted. The use of these apps can thus only be recommended with significant limitations.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:apps - digital health promotion - sex education - sexual and reproductive health - youth
Subjects:DBIS Research > Publications
ID Code:2092
Deposited By: Michael Stach
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Deposited On:14 Nov 2022 14:48
Last Modified:14 Nov 2022 14:48

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