Pharmacy Practice Faculty Publications


Food for the Heart: Understanding Responses of Patients Enrolled in Cardiac Rehabilitation Toward Web-Based and Mobile-Based Nutrition Tools

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Journal of The American Pharmacists Association





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Objective: To (1) explore the feasibility of a Web-based food decision support system in patients with coronary heart disease (CHD) and (2) explore the feasibility of a mobile-based food decision support system in patients with CHD.

Methods: Food Magnet (FM) is a Web-based food decision support system to aid in daily dietary choices by balancing multiple dietary criteria such as sodium, fat, cholesterol, and fiber. Mobile Magic Lens (MML) is a mobile-based system designed to examine whether a food item is nutritionally appropriate for a CHD patient through barcode scanning. Three CHD patient focus groups were conducted. CHD participants completed a brief survey regarding food preparation and grocery shopping. Dietary changes in response to CHD diagnosis were discussed. Focus groups then were shown a prototype of the FM and MML tools and asked to give feedback regarding their usability, the positive and negative aspects of the software, and their potential impact on dietary habits.

Results: A total of 20 CHD patients and 7 informal caregivers participated in the three focus group sessions. Decreasing sodium intake was the most common challenge mentioned by CHD patients. They felt that the MML would be a valuable resource, provide a fast response, and save time. However, CHD patients wanted the ability to sync MML and FM, as well as additional programming to assist in choosing meals at restaurants and in adhering to lifestyle recommendations and medication regimens. CHD patients felt FM would assist in monitoring dietary adherence, but most individuals would need training before use.

Conclusion: MML and FM appear to be tools that CHD patients feel will be valuable in making food choices and adhering to dietary restrictions. Further programming is needed to allow interaction between the two programs and allow for use in additional health-related activities.


Cardiac rehabilitation, nutrition tools