Minnesota Nursing magazine

AHA Scientific Statement calls for mHealth interventions for cardiovascular disease to be top priority

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Brett Stursa
Erica Schorr, PhD, RN
Associate Professor Erica Schorr, PhD, RN

A new American Heart Association (AHA) Scientific Statement is calling for effective, widely accepted and time-efficient mobile health (mHealth) interventions to improve cardiovascular disease health in adults aged 60 years and older to be a top health priority.

Associate Professor Erica Schorr, PhD, RN, chaired the AHA’s committee on mHealth for secondary cardiovascular disease prevention and was first author of Harnessing Mobile Health Technology for Secondary Cardiovascular Disease Prevention in Older Adults, which was recently published in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

“mHealth has been a powerful approach to educate and engage older adults in the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease but little is known about its use for secondary cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevention, specifically among adults aged 60 years and older,” says Schorr.

The committee focused on this age group because it is the demographic group at the highest risk of CVD events. They defined mHealth as the use of mobile and wireless technologies to support the achievement of health objectives, including voice and text messaging, global positioning system, Bluetooth technologies, and wearable garments or accessories that provide physiologic monitoring.

The major barriers identified for mHealth usage and adoption among older adults include affordability, usability and privacy, and security issues. Yet despite perceived barriers of technology usage and adoption among older adults, more than 80% of Americans aged 60 years and older own a cell phone and spend more than 50% of daily leisure time in front of screens.

“Studies on the type of mHealth that is the most effective for older adults with longer study duration are essential as the field continues to grow,” says Schorr.

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