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Computer-based interactive health communications for people with chronic disease

Authors Casey L, Clough B, Mihuta M, Green H, Usher W, James D, Rowlands D, Laakso E

Received 25 November 2013

Accepted for publication 23 January 2014

Published 8 April 2014 Volume 2014:2 Pages 29—38


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Leanne M Casey,1 Bonnie A Clough,1 Mary E Mihuta,1 Heather Green,1 Wayne Usher,2 Daniel A James,3,4 David D Rowlands,3 E-Liisa Laakso5

1Griffith Health Institute Behavioural Basis of Health Program, School of Applied Psychology, 2School of Education and Professional Studies, 3Sports and Biomedical Engineering Laboratory, School of Engineering, Griffith University, Queensland, Australia; 4Centre of Excellence for Applied Sport Science Research, Queensland Academy of Sport, Queensland, Australia; 5Griffith Health Institute Centre for Musculoskeletal Research, School of Allied Health Sciences, Griffith University, Queensland, Australia

Abstract: Chronic diseases (CD) – such as cardiovascular, diabetes, cancer, and chronic respiratory diseases – are projected to be the most common causes of mortality and morbidity by 2030. Use of a participatory decision-making model that emphasizes a partnership among practitioners, patients, and their families to achieve desired goals is a key strategy in achieving optimal outcomes. The Interactive Health Communication Applications (IHCAs) can support participatory decision making by providing the unique infrastructure needed to deliver support for the multiple requirements of patients with CD. The aim of this paper is to provide a descriptive review of the use of IHCAs in the treatment of chronic disease. Patient acceptability and satisfaction were identified as key issues that can be enhanced by ensuring that IHCAs provide: 1) emotional support and empowerment; 2) education and information from health professionals; and 3) telecommunication instead of onsite visiting. An important benefit of IHCAs can be an improved quality of communication between the patients and the health care professionals, which is a critical and predictive factor of treatment outcomes for many patients with CD. Similarly, there is good evidence to suggest that IHCAs can improve the patients’ adherence to both medication and behavioral regimens designed to both treat and manage CDs. However, it is important to recognize that the technological development and effective implementation of an ICHA is a complex multidisciplinary operation that needs to take into account the needs of the various stakeholders as well as making use of the most suitable technology.

Keywords: chronic disease, computer-based, interactive health communication

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