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18447

An Iphone Application for Infant and Toddler Sleep: Characteristics and Concerns of Users

Sunday, October 21, 2012
Room 270 (Morial Convention Center)
Jodi A. Mindell, PhD, Psychology, Saint Joseph's University/Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA, Erin S. Leichman, Lehigh University, West Bethlehem, PA, Russel Walters, JOHNSON & JOHNSON Consumer Companies, Inc., Skillman, NJ and Bula Buhllar, GiantSky, Philadelphia, PA

Purpose: The aim of this study was to investigate demographic characteristics of users of an iPhone based application for sleep in young children, as well as the types of concerns submitted to an Ask the Expert.

Methods: Data were collected from 7889 consecutive users of a free publicly-available app for the iPhone over a 3-month period.  Of these, 365 (4.6%) submitted a question to an Ask the Expert section.  This study was IRB approved and all users provided consent.

Results: Across the 7889 users, they were primarily mothers (69%) with an average age of 28 years.  The designated child of the user was predominantly infants (3-11 months, 68%) followed by toddlers (12-36 months, 20%), and newborns (0-2 months; 12%). There were 365 questions submitted across the 3-month period (4.6% of users), with questions primarily presented by mothers (75.1%).  Questions by parents of infants (3-11 months) were most likely submitted (65.3%), followed by toddlers (12-36 months; 23.5%) and newborns (0-2 months; 11.3%), with the average age of the child 11.9 months (SD=22.43).  There were equal number of questions submitted by parents of boys (49.6%) and girls (50.4%). The primary concerns of users regarded night wakings (22.7% of all questions submitted), sleep problems (22.2%), and general sleep questions (21.9%).  Less frequently, questions related to napping (15.3%), bedtime (13.4%), and sleep safety (4.4%) were submitted.  Questions were submitted most frequently between midnight and 6am (37%), followed by between 6pm and midnight (22%).

Conclusions:  Overall, an application for sleep issues in young children appears to be quite popular for parents of young children, with almost 8000 users in a short period.  Of those users who submitted a question, they were primarily regarding infants and almost half of all questions were about sleep problems.  Interestingly, almost one-third of questions were submitted during the middle of the night, and over half between 6pm and 6am, indicating that parents often seek sleep-related advice at times when information is usually not readily available, thus attesting to the need for accessibility of health-related information.