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J Cardiopulm Rehabil Prev. 2012 Jul-Aug;32(4):203-9. doi: 10.1097/HCR.0b013e31825b4e6a.

A qualitative analysis of coronary heart disease patient views of dietary adherence and web-based and mobile-based nutrition tools.

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  • 1School of Nursing, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA.



Dietary adherence can be challenging for patients with coronary heart disease (CHD), as they may require multiple dietary changes. Choosing appropriate food items may be difficult or take extensive amounts of time without the aid of technology. The objective of this project was to (1) examine the dietary challenges faced by patients with CHD, (2) examine methods of coping with dietary challenges, (3) explore the feasibility of a Web-based food decision support system, and (4) explore the feasibility of a mobile-based food decision support system.


Food for the Heart (FFH), a Web site-based food decision support system, and Mobile Magic Lens (MML), a mobile-based system, were developed to aid in daily dietary choices. Three CHD patient focus groups were conducted and focused on CHD-associated dietary changes as well as the FFH and MML prototypes. A total of 20 CHD patients and 7 informal caregivers participated. Qualitative, content analysis was performed to find themes grounded in the responses.


Five predominant themes emerged: (1) decreasing carbohydrate intake and portion control are common dietary challenges, (2) clinician and social support makes dietary adherence easier, (3) FFH could make meal-planning and dietary adherence less complicated, (4) MML could save time and assist with healthy choices, and (5) additional features need to be added to make both tools more comprehensive.


Food for the Heart and MML may be tools that CHD patients would value in making food choices and adhering to dietary recommendations, especially if additional features are added to assist patients with changes.

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