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Beta Testing of a Network-Based Health Literacy Program Tailored for Older Adults With Hypertension

NEAFSEY, PATRICIA J. RD, PhD; ANDERSON, ELIZABETH APRN, PhD; PEABODY, SHERI RN, MSN; LIN, CAROLYN A. PhD; STRICKLER, ZOE MDes; VAUGHN, KATHLEA MA

CIN: Computers, Informatics, Nursing: November-December 2008 - Volume 26 - Issue 6 - p 311-319
doi: 10.1097/01.NCN.0000336466.17811.e7
Feature Article

A touch screen-enabled "Personal Education Program" was modified to the "next generation" to capture self-medication behaviors of older adults with hypertension and assess related knowledge and self-efficacy. The program analyzes patient-entered information and delivers interactive educational content tailored to the reported behaviors. Summaries of self-reported symptoms, medication use (including frequency/time), drug interactions, and corrective strategies with an illustration of the drug interaction are printed to inform the provider before the primary care visit and for the patient to take home for self-study. After formative research during development and formal diagnostic and verification usability studies with advanced practice nurses and older adults, a beta test was conducted with older adults with hypertension over a 3-month period. Findings from the beta test suggest that older adult user satisfaction was high. Blood pressure declined over the four visits for 82% of the participants. The next generation of the Personal Education Program had a large effect size in increasing knowledge and self-efficacy for avoiding adverse self-medication behaviors. Behavior risk score did not change significantly but was significantly correlated with systolic blood pressure on the fourth visit. The positive results found in this small sample suggest that the next generation of the Personal Education Program could play a central role in facilitating patient-provider communication and medication adherence.

Author Affiliations: School of Nursing (Drs Neafsey and Anderson and Ms Peabody); Department of Communication Sciences (Dr Lin); and Center for Health, Intervention, and Prevention (Drs Neafsey and Anderson, and Ms Strickler and Ms Vaughn) University of Connecticut, Storrs.

This work was supported by funding from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, grant number 5R01HL084208, P. J. Neafsey, principal investigator.

Corresponding author: Patricia J. Neafsey, RD, PhD, School of Nursing, Unit 2026, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06269 (patricia.neafsey@uconn.edu).

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.