Article

Atrial fibrillation self-management: a mobile telephone app scoping review and content analysis

Citation

Pearsons A, Hanson CL, Gallagher R, O'Carroll RE, Khonsari S, Hanley J, Strachan FE, Mills NL, Quinn TJ, McKinstry B, McHale S, Stewart S, Zhang M, O'Connor S & Neubeck L (2021) Atrial fibrillation self-management: a mobile telephone app scoping review and content analysis. European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, 20 (4), pp. 305-314. https://doi.org/10.1093/eurjcn/zvaa014

Abstract
Atrial fibrillation (AF) affects over 1.4 million people in the UK, resulting in a five-fold increased stroke risk and a three to four times greater risk of severe, disabling stroke. Atrial fibrillation, a chronic disease, requires monitoring, medication, and lifestyle measures. A self-management approach supported by mobile health (mHealth) may empower AF self-care. To assess the need to develop new mHealth self-management interventions for those with AF this review aimed to identify commercially available AF self-management apps, analyse, and synthesize (i) characteristics, (ii) functions, (iii) privacy/security, (iv) incorporated behaviour change techniques (BCTs), and (v) quality and usability. We searched app stores for ‘atrial fibrillation’ and ‘anticoagulation’, and included apps focused on AF self-management in the review. We examined app functions, privacy statements against best practice recommendations, the inclusion of BCTs using the App Behaviour Change Scale, and app quality/usability using the Mobile App Rating Scale. From an initial search of 555 apps, five apps were included in the review. Common functions were educational content, medication trackers, and communication with healthcare professionals. Apps contained limited BCTs, lacked intuitive functions and were difficult to use. Privacy policies were difficult to read. App quality rated from poor to acceptable and no app had been evaluated in a clinical trial. The review reports a lack of commercially available AF self-management apps of sufficient standard for use in healthcare settings. This highlights the need for clinically validated mHealth interventions incorporating evidence-based BCTs to support AF self-management.

Keywords
Atrial fibrillation; mHealth; Medication adherence; Self-management; Anticoagulation; Behaviour change

Journal
European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing: Volume 20, Issue 4

StatusPublished
FundersCSO Chief Scientist Office
Publication date30/04/2021
Publication date online11/12/2020
Date accepted by journal26/10/2020
URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1893/32405
ISSN1474-5151
eISSN1873-1953