Design for positive breast self-examination experience: an investigation into mobile health apps

Karadeniz Küçük, Aylin
Breast cancer is one of the most common cancer types among women, responsible for approximately 627,000 deaths globally in 2018. There are various screening methods to detect cancer early, and experts suggest that women should perform breast self-examination (BSE) once a month. Unfortunately, most women fail to do so even if they are aware of the risks and the importance of screening methods. Moreover, developments in technology provide people to manage their own health in their own environments with various mobile technologies. Particularly, a number of mobile apps have been developed for assisting women to maintain breast healthcare; but, they fall short to be insufficient to meet needs of women for BSE. Even though there are studies that explored breast health behavior of women, the researcher has not come across a detailed investigation regarding the relation of breast health behavior and related mobile apps. An in-depth investigation of experiences with BSE and mobile apps can give insights into behavior of women. Therefore, the aims of the thesis were to uncover i) motivations behind women to perform BSE, ii) to figure out women’s needs to perform BSE, and iii) to recommend ways to enhance women’s BSE experiences through the BSE apps. With this aim, three selected mobile BSE apps were used by a total of 24 participants for four weeks. A three-phase study was carried out to uncover pre-usage, during-usage, and post-usage experiences of women. By utilizing the procedures of grounded theory, six categories as design strategies emerged: BSE: Strategies, BSE: Limitations, BSE: Emotions, Mobile BSE Apps: Needs, Mobile BSE Apps: Benefits, and Mobile BSE Apps: Limitations. Consequently, feeding on the result of the study and positive technology literature, design dimensions were identified, and design recommendations were made to enhance the positive mobile BSE apps experience.
Citation Formats
A. Karadeniz Küçük, “Design for positive breast self-examination experience: an investigation into mobile health apps,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2021.