Using Mobile Health Intervention to Improve Secondary Prevention of Coronary Heart Diseases in China: Mixed-Methods Feasibility Study Journal Articles uri icon

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  • BACKGROUND: Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the leading cause of cardiovascular mortality worldwide, yet implementation of evidence-based strategies for secondary prevention remains suboptimal. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to evaluate the feasibility, specifically the usability and acceptability, and estimate the preliminary effectiveness of a mobile health (mHealth) intervention targeting both physicians and patients to improve adherence to evidence-based medications and lifestyle modifications. METHODS: We conducted a 12-week pre-post interventional pilot study at two sites in Shanghai and Hainan, China. Physicians used the app designed in this study to prescribe evidence-based medicines and record patient information. Eligible and consenting patients received automatic text messages or voice calls 4 to 5 times per week for 12 weeks on medication adherence and healthy behaviors. Interviews were conducted among 10 physicians and 24 patients at the two sites for their thoughts on medication adherence and feedback on the usability and acceptability. Questions on usability and acceptability were also asked in a patient follow-up survey. With regard to estimating effectiveness, the primary outcome was medication adherence (as estimated by the Morisky Green Levine Scale) at 12 weeks. Secondary outcomes included physical activity, smoking status, fruits and vegetables consumption, and facility visit frequency. RESULTS: Interview findings and patient survey showed the good usability and acceptability of the intervention. Among 190 patients who completed the intervention, there was a significant increase in medication adherence (odds ratio [OR] 1.80, 95% CI 1.14-2.85). The study also showed decrease of smokers' percentage (-5%, P=.05), increase of daily vegetables consumption frequency (+0.3/day, P=.01), and community health care center visit frequency (+3 in 3 months, P=.04). The following site-specific differences were noted: medication adherence appeared to increase in Hainan (OR 14.68, 95% CI 5.20-41.45) but not in Shanghai (OR 0.61, 95% CI 0.33-1.12). CONCLUSIONS: Our study demonstrated that the intervention was feasible in both a tertiary care center and an urban community health center in China. Preliminary results from pre-post comparison suggest the possibility that provider and patient-linked mHealth interventions may improve medication adherence and lifestyle modifications among CHD patients, especially in resource-scarce settings. Randomized controlled trials are needed to verify the findings.


  • Chen, Shu
  • Gong, Enying
  • Kazi, Dhruv S
  • Gates, Ann B
  • Bai, Rong
  • Fu, Hua
  • Peng, Weixia
  • De La Cruz, Ginny
  • Chen, Lei
  • Liu, Xianxia
  • Su, Qingjie
  • Girerd, Nicolas
  • Karaye, Kamilu M
  • Alhabib, Khalid F
  • Yan, Lijing L
  • Schwalm, Jon-david

publication date

  • January 25, 2018