Objectives: The aims of this study were to develop a smartphone application to encourage breast self-examination (BSE), and to evaluate the effects of this application in terms of modifying BSE behavior.
Methods: A smartphone application, based on the Android OS, was developed with functions including a BSE date alarm, a reminder to encourage mother and daughter to practice BSE together, record keeping, and educational content with video clips. Females aged 19 and over were enrolled to evaluate the effectiveness of the application. Two series of questionnaires were carried out (before and after use of the application) by e-mail, telephone, and face-to-face interviews between July and September 2012.
Results: Forty-five subjects were enrolled in the study (age 29.5-5.9 years). Of the participants, only 28 (62.2%) had ever practiced BSE and only one of these (2.2%) was carried out at the appropriate time, based on the results of the baseline survey. After using the application, the number of participants practicing BSE increased from 28 to 32 (62.2% to 71.1%, p = 0.503). In subgroup analysis (age < 30 years), the number of participants using BSE increased from 8 to 18 (36.4% to 81.8%, p = 0.002), and the number of those using it at the appropriate time rose from 1 to 15 (2.2% to 33.3%, p < 0.001).
Conclusions: The use of the developed smartphone application increased BSE in females younger than 30 years. To confirm the long-term benefits of the mobile application, additional studies must be carried out.
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