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Embedding Patient Education in Mobile Platform for Patients With Heart Failure: Theory-Based Development and Beta Testing

Athilingam, Ponrathi PhD, RN, ACNP, MCH, FAANP; Osorio, Richard E. MBA, EdS; Kaplan, Howard MEd; Oliver, Drew MEd; O’neachtain, Tara MEd, CVT; Rogal, Philip J. MD, FACC

CIN: Computers, Informatics, Nursing: February 2016 - Volume 34 - Issue 2 - p 92–98
doi: 10.1097/CIN.0000000000000216

Health education is an important component of multidisciplinary disease management of heart failure. The educational information given at the time of discharge after hospitalization or at initial diagnosis is often overwhelming to patients and is often lost or never consulted again. Therefore, the aim of this developmental project was to embed interactive heart failure education in a mobile platform. A patient-centered approach, grounded on several learning theories including Mayer’s Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning, Sweller’s Cognitive Load, Instructional Design Approach, and Problem-Based Learning, was utilized to develop and test the mobile app. Ten heart failure patients, who attended an outpatient heart failure clinic, completed beta testing. A validated self-confidence questionnaire was utilized to assess patients’ confidence in using the mobile app. All participants (100%) reported moderate to extreme confidence in using the app, 95% were very likely to use the app, 100% reported the design was easy to navigate, and content on heart failure was appropriate. Having the information accessible on their mobile phone was reported as a positive, like a health coach by all patients. Clinicians and nurses validated the content. Thus, embedding health education in a mobile app is proposed in promoting persistent engagement to improve health outcomes.

Author Affiliations: College of Nursing (Dr Athilingam), Curriculum and Instruction, Department of Adult Education (Mr Osorio and Ms O’Neachtain), Advanced Visualization Center (Mr Kaplan), Research Computing (Mr Oliver), and USF Health, University of South Florida (Dr Rogal), Tampa.

The authors have disclosed that they have no significant relationship with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.

Corresponding author: Ponrathi Athilingam, PhD, RN, ACNP, MCH, FAANP, College of Nursing, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL 33612 (

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