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Research: A usability and usefulness evaluation of LactApp

Research: A usability and usefulness evaluation of LactApp

At the end of September, the scientific journal International Journal of Medical Informatics published an article on the evaluation of user usability and usefulness of LactApp.

Here we summarize the article.

The main objective of this study was to evaluate the usability and usefulness of LactApp as a mobile app to support breastfeeding. In addition, it also aimed to evaluate the satisfaction of breastfeeding mothers with the breastfeeding support received from health professionals, their families, and society.

Methodology

A prospective cross-sectional survey was conducted and sent via email to LactApp users who had registered between January and September 2022.

The survey consisted of 42 items that included the modified MAUQ questionnaire (mMAUQ) along with questions on participants’ sociodemographic data, mothers’ clinical data, breastfeeding infants’ clinical data, breastfeeding practices, and satisfaction with the breastfeeding support received.

The mMAUQ is the validated Spanish version of the original MAUQ (mHealth App Usability Questionnaire) and adapted to breastfeeding support apps. It consists of 4 subscales that assess satisfaction and usefulness, ease of use, access to information and errors, and convenience of use. Using a 7-point Likert scoring system, the closer to 7, the greater the agreement with the statement, and therefore, the closer the final mMAUQ value is to 7, the greater the usability of the mHealth app.

In addition to sociodemographic data and mMAUQ, participants were asked to rate their overall experience with breastfeeding in relation to support received from their healthcare professionals, family support, and social support using a Likert scale from 1 to 5.

Results

A total of 1,191 fully completed questionnaires were obtained and used for data analysis.

The socio-demographic data revealed that the participants lived mostly in Spain (n = 1124, 91 %), were primiparous (n = 1004, 84.6 %), most had never previously breastfed an infant (n = 1004, 84.6 %), most had no previous breastfeeding experience (n = 984, 84 %), and were exclusively breastfeeding (n = 1041, 83 %). The mean age of the participants was 34.6 years (±4.1), and the mean age of their breastfed infant was 4.9 months (±4.4). Most participants had university or higher education (n = 1074, 90.5 %), were living with a partner (n = 1327, 97.6 %), and half of them were employed or self-employed but on maternity leave (n = 616, 51.8 %) at the time of the study.

The mMAUQ scores for LactApp obtained a mean score of 5.9 out of 7 (±0.88). In detail, the subscales of the questionnaire obtained the following mean scores: “Satisfaction and usefulness” 6.13 out of 7 (±1.08); “Ease of use” 5.98 out of 7 (±0.97); “Access to information” 5.46 out of 7 (±0.99); and ” Convenience of use” 6.34 out of 7 (±0.95).

Younger users rated the app significantly better than older users (p < 0.001); the mean LactApp score for users aged 20 to 25 years was 6.13 (±0.92), while users over 40 years rated LactApp with a mean score of 5.79 (±0.80).

Exclusively breastfeeding users rated the LactApp better than users who combined breast- and bottle-feeding (p = 0.006), with a mean score of 6.08 (±0.80). of 6.08 (±0.77) and 5.87 (±0.96), respectively.

The mean score of breastfeeding support from healthcare professionals was 3.58 out of 5 (±1.22). While the users evaluated family support with a mean score of 3.75 out of 5 (±1.09). Social support for breastfeeding scored the lowest, with a mean score of 3.46 out of 5 (±1.05).

Discussion

The results of the usability test using the mMAUQ questionnaire suggest that LactApp is very easy to use for breastfeeding mothers, as the results of our study show a mean score of 5.9. In addition, according to the authors of the original MAUQ questionnaire, the closer the value is to 7, the higher the usability of the mobile app.

The “Satisfaction and Usability” subscale of the questionnaire was used to assess the usability of LactApp. The majority of respondents agreed that LactApp is a useful mobile health app to help women during the breastfeeding period and that it can have beneficial effects on women’s well-being during the perinatal period. Moreover, according to the results of the other subscales of the questionnaire, most of the users agreed that LactApp was convenient and easy to use. More importantly, 90.5% of the respondents agreed or strongly agreed that they would use LactApp again.

The satisfaction scores of users with breastfeeding support correlated positively with total LactApp samples.

The main strength of this study is the large sample size, in which we included 1,191 participants to assess the usability and usefulness of LactApp.

Conclusions

In conclusion, this study has shown that LactApp is very usable and useful for women’s breastfeeding experience. Participants also agreed that by using LactApp, they felt supported in their breastfeeding journey. The strengths were:

  • 80.9% of respondents stated that they felt supported in their breastfeeding experience by using LactApp.
  • 75.3% of users stated that LactApp helped them to manage their breastfeeding experience.
  • For 86.7% of users surveyed, LactApp was helpful to their health and well-being.
  • 87.8% of users were satisfied with the mobile app.

However, further clinical trials are needed to evaluate the efficacy of LactApp as a breastfeeding support tool.

 

References

Quifer-Rada, P., Aguilar-Camprubí, L., Gómez-Sebastià, I., Padró-Arocas, A., & Mena-Tudela, D. (2023). Spanish version of the mHealth app usability questionnaire (MAUQ) and adaptation to breastfeeding support apps. International journal of medical informatics174, 105062. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijmedinf.2023.105062

P. Quifer-Rada, L. Aguilar-Camprubí, I. Gomez-Sebastià, A. Padro-Arocas,  D. Mena-Tudela, Spanish version of the mHealth app usability questionnaire (MAUQ) and adaptation to breastfeeding support apps, Int. J. Med.

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