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An opportunity for patient-centered care: Results from a secondary analysis of sex- and gender-based data in mobile health trials for chronic medical conditions


Wang, Jiani; Barth, Jürgen; Göttgens, Irene; Emchi, Karma; Pach, Daniel; Oertelt-Prigione, Sabine (2020). An opportunity for patient-centered care: Results from a secondary analysis of sex- and gender-based data in mobile health trials for chronic medical conditions. Maturitas, 138:1-7.

Abstract

Traditional medical practice has suffered from male bias, which can lead to sub-optimal treatment options for female patients and increase the incidence of severe side-effects in this population. Mobile health applications, mHealth apps, represent one essential component of the shift towards consumer-centered self-administered individualized health. To prevent sex-specific bias it is important that trials consider sex and gender when developing mHealth apps. We evaluated the inclusion and reporting of sex and gender at all levels in mHealth randomized controlled trials (RCTs). To this end, we conducted a secondary analysis of a large study database addressing the effectiveness of app interventions on clinical outcomes in patients with chronic medical conditions. We followed the 5 steps described in the framework by Arksey and O’Malley and the guidelines of the PRISMA-ScR. Of the 72 app-based RCTs which reported information about sex overall, 62 included individuals of both sexes. The concept of gender was not addressed in any of the studies. The consideration of sex aspects in the design, execution and reporting of mHealth RCTs was minimal or absent. To adequately address the health and preventative needs of the mHealth user population, sex and gender should be systematically included in the research, development and evaluation of mHealth applications.

Abstract

Traditional medical practice has suffered from male bias, which can lead to sub-optimal treatment options for female patients and increase the incidence of severe side-effects in this population. Mobile health applications, mHealth apps, represent one essential component of the shift towards consumer-centered self-administered individualized health. To prevent sex-specific bias it is important that trials consider sex and gender when developing mHealth apps. We evaluated the inclusion and reporting of sex and gender at all levels in mHealth randomized controlled trials (RCTs). To this end, we conducted a secondary analysis of a large study database addressing the effectiveness of app interventions on clinical outcomes in patients with chronic medical conditions. We followed the 5 steps described in the framework by Arksey and O’Malley and the guidelines of the PRISMA-ScR. Of the 72 app-based RCTs which reported information about sex overall, 62 included individuals of both sexes. The concept of gender was not addressed in any of the studies. The consideration of sex aspects in the design, execution and reporting of mHealth RCTs was minimal or absent. To adequately address the health and preventative needs of the mHealth user population, sex and gender should be systematically included in the research, development and evaluation of mHealth applications.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, further contribution
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Institute of Complementary Medicine
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Life Sciences > General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
Health Sciences > Obstetrics and Gynecology
Uncontrolled Keywords:Sex, Gender, mHealth, Smartphone, App, Secondary analysis
Language:English
Date:1 August 2020
Deposited On:03 Feb 2021 16:03
Last Modified:04 Feb 2021 21:01
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0378-5122
OA Status:Hybrid
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.maturitas.2020.05.003
PubMed ID:32631583

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