A bespoke social network for deaf women in Ecuador to access information on sexual and reproductive health

Yaroslava Robles-Bykbaev, Christian Oyola-Flores, Vladimir Espartaco Robles-Bykbaev, Martín López-Nores, Paola Ingavélez-Guerra, José Juan Pazos-Arias, Fernando Pesántez-Avilés, Manuel Ramos-Cabrer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Many deaf women face the lack of numerous resources related to their personal development. The unavailability of proper information on Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH), in particular, causes problems of sexually transmitted infections, unwanted pregnancy in adolescence, sexual violence, complications during pregnancy, etc. In response to this, we have created a social network that delivers SRH content (verified and validated by experts) to women with different degrees of hearing loss. The site features a recommender system that selects the most relevant pieces of content to deliver to each woman, driven by her individual preferences, needs and levels of knowledge on the different subjects. We report experiments conducted in Cuenca, Ecuador, between 2017 and 2018 with 98 volunteers from low-and middle-income settings, aiming to evaluate the quality and appeal of the contents, the coherence of the methodology followed to create them, and the effectiveness of the content recommendations. The positive results encourage the frequent creation of new content and the refinement of the recommendation logic as the cohort of users expands over time.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3962
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number20
StatePublished - 17 Oct 2019


  • Deaf women
  • Ecuadorian Sign Language
  • Hearing loss
  • Recommender system
  • Sexual and Reproductive Health


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