Bridve Sivakumar, PhD Candidate

Health Science
Ontario Tech University

User-testing of a mobile app intervention to support dietary education and adherence among heart failure patients

Restriction of dietary sodium and fluid are key recommendations to improving heart failure (HF) outcomes. Mobile apps can support HF patients with increasing adherence to these recommendations, but only a few high-quality, diet-focused apps exist. The Sodium NavigatorHF is a mobile app intervention to support nutrition education in HF patients; however, patient perceptions on app usability and content are unknown. This presentation reports findings of a quasi-experimental mixed methods study conducted to determine HF patients’ level of engagement, satisfaction, and usability of the Sodium NavigatorHF app, which are key to optimize the app’s impact on learning, engagement, and nutrition knowledge acquisition and adherence. Participants (n=10, 56 ± 15 years, 80% women, recruited through the HeartLife Foundation) completed one-on-one online user-testing sessions. App engagement, satisfaction, and usability were measured using a 19-item patient-reported Likert-scale questionnaire. Participant provided feedback on app content and features via qualitative interviews. Most participants reported that they enjoyed using the app (90%) and strongly agreed the information in the app was meaningful and useful for their health and well-being (80%). Participants agreed the app was easy to use (70%) and the information easy to understand and well organized (50%). Participants found the app ‘educational,’ ‘engaging,’ and ‘empowering,’ and a resource they would ‘definitely use’ to learn about dietary sodium. Results informed improvements to app usability and content. Findings suggest high level of usability and acceptance of the Sodium NavigatorHF app among patients, demonstrating its potential to support nutrition education and adherence for HF management. 

Speaker/Chair Bio:

Bridve is a 3rd year PhD Candidate in Health Sciences at Ontario Tech University. Her research and area of work focuses on eHealth/mHealth, behavioural science, and cardiovascular disease management and prevention. A part of her PhD, she has worked on  the development and evaluation of mHealth interventions to support dietary adherence in patients with chronic heart failure – a clinically challenging area of heart failure management. Through her research thus far, she has identified patient and clinician readiness to use mHealth apps, relevant mHealth intervention characteristics, and barriers and facilitators to adopt mHealth apps. She has also led an interdisciplinary team of Registered Dietitians, patients, and an industry partner in co-producing Sodium NavigatorHF, the first mHealth app to support nutrition education among the heart failure population. She has also collaborated on numerous research projects focused on cardiovascular disease prevention, including working on a multi-country research in Latin America to evaluate dietary salt reduction policies and contributing to a regularly updated systematic review on emerging studies related to sodium and health outcomes as part of the World Hypertension League Science of Salt Advisory group. In addition to research, Bridve is currently a member of the Special Interest Group that is dedicated to e/mHealth research as part of the International Society of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity.