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Digital support tools for fertility patients - a narrative systematic review

Digital support tools for fertility patients - a narrative systematic review
Digital support tools for fertility patients - a narrative systematic review

Digital support tools, including smartphone apps, are increasingly being used alongside fertility treatments. These tools aim to harness the power of information and technology to improve care, facilitate communication and support patients through stressful treatment cycles. To warrant patient engagement, digital support tools must be perceived as useful. This review identifies and narratively analyses tools developed for fertility patients to date, discusses salient included features and evaluates user reviews. A systematic search of the app markets and electronic literature databases identified 46 digital support tools for fertility patients. The identified web-based tools focussed on psychosocial support, whereas the smartphone apps primarily have practical features, with some incorporating coping support. User feedback was collated from the Google and Apple app marketplaces and analysed using thematic analysis. Patients have high expectations of support apps, in particular the user experience. Nine published studies of web-based digital support tools were identified, but there was a complete absence of peer-reviewed studies of smartphone support apps for fertility patients. This review identifies the increasing range of available digital tools to support patients having fertility treatments and highlights the very limited evidence on which clinicians and patients can currently evaluate these tools.

Digital, IVF, apps, fertility, mHealth, support
1464-7273
1-10
Robertson, Isla
b4e0c5be-ff75-4f0b-b519-9083b2c698a2
Ogundiran, Olufunmilola
77b637ec-4b38-4d7f-a7d9-4bea053baef1
Cheong, Ying
4efbba2a-3036-4dce-82f1-8b4017952c83
Robertson, Isla
b4e0c5be-ff75-4f0b-b519-9083b2c698a2
Ogundiran, Olufunmilola
77b637ec-4b38-4d7f-a7d9-4bea053baef1
Cheong, Ying
4efbba2a-3036-4dce-82f1-8b4017952c83

Robertson, Isla, Ogundiran, Olufunmilola and Cheong, Ying (2021) Digital support tools for fertility patients - a narrative systematic review. Human Fertility, 1-10. (doi:10.1080/14647273.2021.1953711).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Digital support tools, including smartphone apps, are increasingly being used alongside fertility treatments. These tools aim to harness the power of information and technology to improve care, facilitate communication and support patients through stressful treatment cycles. To warrant patient engagement, digital support tools must be perceived as useful. This review identifies and narratively analyses tools developed for fertility patients to date, discusses salient included features and evaluates user reviews. A systematic search of the app markets and electronic literature databases identified 46 digital support tools for fertility patients. The identified web-based tools focussed on psychosocial support, whereas the smartphone apps primarily have practical features, with some incorporating coping support. User feedback was collated from the Google and Apple app marketplaces and analysed using thematic analysis. Patients have high expectations of support apps, in particular the user experience. Nine published studies of web-based digital support tools were identified, but there was a complete absence of peer-reviewed studies of smartphone support apps for fertility patients. This review identifies the increasing range of available digital tools to support patients having fertility treatments and highlights the very limited evidence on which clinicians and patients can currently evaluate these tools.

Text
Digital support tools for fertility patients – a narrative systematic reviewrevised - Accepted Manuscript
Restricted to Repository staff only until 27 July 2022.
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 22 April 2021
e-pub ahead of print date: 27 July 2021
Keywords: Digital, IVF, apps, fertility, mHealth, support

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 450929
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/450929
ISSN: 1464-7273
PURE UUID: 89b5d3de-a3b2-45d4-a279-016a5506ff80
ORCID for Ying Cheong: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-7687-4597

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 24 Aug 2021 17:00
Last modified: 26 Nov 2021 02:53

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Contributors

Author: Isla Robertson
Author: Olufunmilola Ogundiran
Author: Ying Cheong ORCID iD

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