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Telemed J E Health. 2017 Mar;23(3):233-239. doi: 10.1089/tmj.2016.0133. Epub 2016 Sep 13.

Using Mobile-Health to Connect Women with Cardiovascular Disease and Improve Self-Management.

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1 Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University , British Columbia, Canada .
2 Department of Physical Therapy, University of British Columbia , British Columbia, Canada .
3 Healthy Heart Program, St. Paul's Hospital , Providence Health Care, British Columbia, Canada .
4 Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada , Toronto, Canada .
5 Curatio, Vancouver, British Columbia , Canada .
6 Vancouver Coastal Health Authority , British Columbia, Canada .


Background/Introduction: Self-management approaches are regarded as appropriate methods to support patients with cardiovascular disease (CVD) and to prevent secondary complications and hospitalizations. Key to successful self-management is the ability of individuals to enlist peer supports to help sustain motivation and efforts to manage their condition. The purpose of this study was to investigate the proof of concept of a peer-support mobile-health (m-health) program, called Healing Circles, and explore the program's effect on self-management, social support, and health-related quality of life in women with CVD.


Healing Circles is a consumer m-health solution developed to facilitate peer support and self-management by connecting people with CVD in groups of five to nine people. Women with CVD (obstructive coronary artery disease) were included in this single group, pre/post study if they owned an iPhone/iPad with at least iOS 7.0. Participants (n = 21) used the Healing Circles program for a 10-week period. Self-management, social support, and health-related quality-of-life outcomes were assessed before and after the use of the program. User experiences and satisfaction were obtained during an exit interview.


After 10 weeks of using the Healing Circles program, statistically significant improvements were observed in the participants' health behaviors (p = 0.04), self-monitoring (p = 0.04), social support (p = 0.01), and social integration (p = 0.002). As well, many women had a level of high satisfaction with the concept of using m-health for the delivery of peer support.


The delivery of peer and self-management support using m-health technologies is well received and may improve self-management and social support. More research is needed to test hypotheses of the effect of the Healing Circles program on clinical outcomes.


behavioral health; cardiology/cardiovascular disease; commercial telemedicine; m-health

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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