Design and Validation of a Mobile Application for the Diagnosis of Anemia in Preschoolers. Diagnostic Accuracy Study

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Enmanuel Guerrero; Fray Martínez; Katherine Estévez; Galo Duque; Omar Alvarado; Paúl Patiño; Diana López; María Narvaéz; Fausto Zaruma; Carlos Manterola; Tamara Otzen & Lorena Albarracín


Anemia affects thousands of children, and to reach a diagnosis, hemoglobin (Hb) is quantified. This technique however, is not always accessible to the general population. Therefore, the availability of a validated instrument can be useful in the diagnosis. The aim of this study was to validate a mobile application (APP), to diagnose anemia in children from 2 to 5 years old, applicable by parents or guardians. Scale validation study. Through a bibliographic search, items and domains related to anemia in children were collected. Once reduced, a pilot questionnaire was constructed with three pediatric hematologists. The result was later validated by 22 experts through the application of the Likert-type scales. The validated items were contrasted with the Hb of children of 267 children from 2 to 5 years of age from the Ecuadorian Andes (2,560 meters above sea level). The association of the items with Hb and with the results obtained was determined, and the APP was constructed. 14 items were analyzed. All of them scored above the median of the distribution (35.5 points) and were valued by at least 50 % of the experts. Palmar pallor, asthenia, and sleep at unusual hours were selected. All showed a significant association with anemia (p<0.05) and were applied as questions to parents or guardians and contrasted with the Hb value. Sensitivity and specificity for pallor was: 85.1 % and 85.0 %; asthenia: 72.3 % and 87.7 %; sleep at unusual hours: 68.1 % and 87.7 %; paleness plus fatigue or sleepiness: 95.7 % and 74.6 %; and weakness plus sleep: 92.5 % and 76.8 %. An APP for the diagnosis of anemia in children from 2 to 5 years old applicable by parents or guardians was developed and validated.

KEY WORDS: "Anemia"[Mesh]; "Weights and Measures"[Mesh]; "Validation Studies as Topic"[Mesh]; "Mobile Applications"[Mesh].

How to cite this article

GUERRERO, E.; MARTÍNEZ, F.; ESTÉVEZ, K.; DUQUE, G.; ALVARADO, O.; PATIÑO, P.; LÓPEZ, D.; NARVAÉZ, M.; ZARUMA, F.; MANTEROLA, C.; OTZEN, T. & ALBARRACÍN, L. Diseño y validación de una aplicación móvil, para el diagnós- tico de anemia en pre-escolares. Estudio de precisión diagnóstica. Int. J. Morphol, 41(4):1036-1042, 2023.