Planning locally relevant Internet programs for secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease

L. Neubeck*, R. Ascanio, A. Bauman, T. Briffa, A.M. Clark, B. Freedman, J. Redfern

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Although the Internet has been shown to be an effective tool for supporting behavioural change in other chronic diseases, less in known about the efficacy of, or need for, Internet-based interventions in the prevention of coronary heart disease (CHD).

We investigated computer literacy, consumer need and perceived usefulness of the Internet as a secondary prevention tool in people with CHD.

A two-step mixed-method process was used that included a survey and two focus groups. The 12-item survey explored participants' access and confidence using the Internet. For the focus groups, we used standard methodology.

We recruited 66 (88% response rate) consecutive cardiac patients; age 36–73 years (mean 64±13), mostly male (85%), whose primary language was predominantly English (67%). Seventy percent had a home computer with Internet access but only 20% reported researching their heart-health online. There was polarity between those with and without Internet access. Further, we found less women than men could complete online forms (p=0.03) and that participants aged over 65 years were less likely to access the Internet (p<0.01) and had lower confidence (p<0.01) than younger counterparts. Focus groups revealed challenges of an online secondary prevention service, but participants valued relevant, practical advice and placed strong emphasis on simple web design.

Using a mixed-methods process we collected locally sensitive information about Internet usage and recommendations for future online health-management strategies. Some patients have more confidence using the Internet, therefore a range of multi-technological secondary prevention interventions should be considered based on individual need.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-220
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011
Externally publishedYes


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