Introduction: Home-based programmes for cardiac
rehabilitation play a key role in the recovery of
patients with coronary artery disease. However, their
necessary educational and motivational components have
been rarely implemented with the help of modern mobile
technologies. We developed a mobile health system
designed for motivating patients to adhere to their
rehabilitation programme by providing exercise
monitoring, guidance, motivational feedback, and
Methods: Our multi-disciplinary approach is based on
mapping "desired behaviours" into specific system's
specifications, borrowing concepts from Fogg's Persuasive
Systems Design principles. A randomised controlled trial
was conducted to compare mobile-based rehabilitation (55
patients) versus standard care (63 patients).
Results: Some technical issues related to connectivity,
usability and exercise sessions interrupted by safety
algorithms affected the trial. For those who completed
the rehabilitation (19 of 55), results show high levels
of both user acceptance and perceived usefulness.
Adherence in terms of started exercise sessions was high,
but not in terms of total time of performed exercise or
drop-outs. Educational level about heart-related health
improved more in the intervention group than the control.
Exercise habits at 6 months follow-up also improved,
although without statistical significance.
Discussion: Results indicate that the adopted design
methodology is promising for creating applications that
help improve education and foster better exercise habits,
but further studies would be needed to confirm these
- cardiac rehabilitation
- coronary artery diseases
- education and motivation