In recent years, the numbers of smartphone users has surged across the world and downloads of smartphone apps have grown significantly, with smartphone usage increased to 73% among American adolescents since 2013. The main goal of this article is to present a review of the literature focusing the use of smartphone applications to improve sexual health. Using a smartphone application to provide sexual health information, especially to younger populations, might aid in increasing awareness of sexual risk behaviors before sexual debut. Providing accurate, comprehensive, and up-to-date sexual health education materials through smartphones vs websites might improve their sexual health outcomes. However, there are few smartphone applications related to sexual and reproductive health that are available to users. Research has shown that 80% of Internet users in the United States search online for health information, and that young people are gathering health information using mobile devices with increasing frequency, including sexual health information. However, while new technologies, including smartphone apps, are used to facilitate health information seeking, health-related apps are infrequently downloaded and rarely used. This suggests that, to promote sexual health through smartphone apps, researchers could partner with app developers in order to integrate sexual health promotion interventions in popular sex-related or dating apps. However, it is evident that these apps provide novel opportunities to engage at-risk populations in sexual health interventions. Several studies have suggested that young adults consider sexual health promotion via apps acceptable. Future research should focus on evaluating these efforts specifically in the reduction of negative sexual health consequences such as a decrease of STIs and unintended pregnancies as well as whether a sexual health app can link clients to health services. Our results could help clinicians by offering information about the potential use of smartphone apps to increase sexual health.Le texte complet de cet article est disponible en PDF.
Keywords : Smartphone, Apps, Sexual health, Internet sexuality, Online sexual activities (OSA), Sexual risk behaviors
|☆|| La version en français de cet article, publiée dans l’édition imprimée de la revue, est disponible en ligne : j.sexol.2018.04.004.