University of São Paulo: Interactive technologies can contribute to young people’s awareness of safe sex

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With the objective of using interactive technologies and applications to communicate with young people efficiently, researcher Lilian Mayumi Chinen Tamashiro, from the School of Nursing of Ribeirão Preto (EERP) at USP, developed an application aimed at raising awareness among this public about safer sex. and contraception.

Called Prinventon, the application is a Serious Game, an electronic game with educational objectives, which takes place in a virtual city where young people can explore and interact with characters and places, such as schools, health centers and events. The game focused on approaching the use of contraceptive methods to reinforce safe sexual practice.

The researcher says that, for the creation of the application, the research was divided into two steps of methodology. The first, which was the development of the technology itself, had focus groups (small group of people to foster ideas), who discussed the topic, sharing experiences and stories. The second part, carried out with a prototype, evaluated the content and usability of the application by experts and the target audience, teenagers. Eight young people aged 15 to 17 from a public school in the city of São Paulo actively participated in the research.

According to Lilian, her work highlights the problems of unprotected sex in adolescence, exploring the topic as much as possible to point out possible consequences. In this way, she tries to circumvent the causes or minimize them, through the awareness and guidance of these young people with information about sexuality, the human reproductive system and contraceptive methods, suggesting the best option adapted to the user’s lifestyle.

Data on pregnancy in Brazil encouraged research

The researcher says that one of the main motivations for creating the application was the great relevance of adolescence in public health. Statistical data point to high rates of teenage pregnancy. According to the 2019 IBGE, 35.4% of adolescents aged 13 to 17 had already started their sexual life, and of these, 59.1% used a condom in their last intercourse. In addition, about 7.9% of the adolescents had already become pregnant.

And concerns related to safe sex are present all over the world, points out Lilian, noting that the World Health Organization (WHO) increasingly reinforces the idea of ​​expanding health interventions through digital means, accessible by mobile devices. This WHO movement, continues, seeks a digital revolution to strengthen the health system.

As for the effective use of Prinventon in this movement, the researcher informs that it is not yet available on the market and needs final adjustments based on feedback from the first research developed. The next steps are already designed for a new research that will move towards the launch of the game in the near future.

The creation of the application is part of the doctoral thesis Development of digital educational technology on safe sexual practice and contraception with adolescents , presented by Lilian Mayumi Chinen Tamashiro to the USP Ribeirão Preto School of Nursing (EERP), in January 2020, under the guidance by teacher Luciana Mara Monti Fonseca.

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