One third of all heart attacks in Australia are repeat events, they are more likely to result in death and are costly. Cardiac Rehabilitation (CR) participants who have experienced a cardiac event are encouraged to meet the physical activity guidelines to help prevent repeat heart attacks. Yet, studies have found that their physical activity levels are low and sitting time is high, both during and after cardiac rehabilitation. In ToDo-CR we developed and evaluated the impact of a behavioural smartphone app (Vire) and online behaviour change program (ToDo-CR) to decrease sitting time in cardiac rehabilitation participants.
The ToDo-CR program is an adaptation of Onmi’s Flex program. It uses personalised analytics to interpret important behavioural aspects: physical activity, variety in situational context and social opportunity. The approach is unique in that it integrates ‘real time’ information in space (geographical location) for generating and suggesting context specific actionable micro behaviours (Do’s), based on Australian physical activity and cardiac rehabilitation guidelines. We evaluated ToDo-CRs acceptance and ability to decrease sitting time in cardiac rehabilitation participants.
One third of cardiac rehab participants were eligible for the study. Not having a smartphone was a major reason for exclusion, and those excluded for this reason were older. Participants were relatively satisfied with the usability of the app, although this declined once the Do’s ceased at 6 weeks. There was a trend for less sitting time at 4 months, and a significant improvement in functional fitness (6-minute walk test). Participants found the use of an app is feasible in cardiac rehab. ToDo-CR will be promoted as an adjunct to traditional cardiac rehabilitation and other clinical programs in a larger RCT study that is planned for 2020.
For this ToDo-CR research project Onmi is partnering with University of Canberra and Canberra Hospital. The ToDo-CR study was funded by Global Connections Fund. More information on bridging grants can be found on their website.