Young African American women’s participation in an m-Health study in cardiovascular risk reduction: Feasibility, benefits, and barriers

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Journal Article
European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, 2019, 18 (7), pp. 569 - 576
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© The European Society of Cardiology 2019. Background: Young black women have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, and thus identifying innovative prevention strategies is essential. A potential preventive strategy is mobile health; however, few studies have tested this strategy in young black women. Aim: The purpose of this study was to assess the feasibility of a mobile health intervention through a digital application to reduce cardiovascular disease risk factors in young black women, and identify benefits and barriers to participation. Methods: Forty black women aged 25–45 years completed four sessions of cardiovascular disease risk reduction education and a six-month smartphone cardiovascular disease risk reduction monitoring and coaching intervention, targeting heart-healthy behavior modifications. At follow-up, women responded to a semi-qualitative online survey assessing the user-friendliness and perceived helpfulness of the intervention. Results: Of 40 women, 38 completed the follow-up survey. Sixty per cent of participants reported that the applications were easy or very easy to maintain, 90% reported that the application was easy or very easy to use. Over 60% observed that their family’s nutrition improved “a lot” or “a medium amount,” and many participants noted positive changes in their children’s diets. Only 8% of participants cited time or cost required to prepare healthy foods as barriers to implementing dietary changes. Conclusions: The m-Health intervention was feasible as a means of cardiovascular disease risk reduction for young black women. In addition, we found that targeting women provided indirect benefits for other family members, especially children. Most of the participants did not encounter systemic barriers to participation, suggesting that mobile health interventions can be effective tools to improve health behaviors in vulnerable populations.
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