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Original article

Vol. 151 No. 1718 (2021)

Patient interest in mHealth as part of cardiac rehabilitation in Switzerland

Cite this as:
Swiss Med Wkly. 2021;151:w20510



Smartphone-based health interventions (mHealth) offer the potential to overcome barriers to accessibility of cardiac rehabilitation. We aimed (1) to examine patients’ interest in mHealth as part of the outpatient cardiac rehabilitation (phase II) and long-term aftercare (phase III) and (2) to identify the influence of sociodemographic and clinical patient characteristics on interest in mHealth.


A questionnaire was consecutively handed out to 2041 patients concluding outpatient cardiac rehabilitation between March 2013 and December 2018 at the University Hospital Bern. Multivariate logistic models were used to identify influencing factors (age, sex, smartphone ownership, year, compliance with cardiac rehabilitation, physical fitness, body mass index, diabetes mellitus, German speaking) for mHealth interest.


The questionnaire was returned by 1025 patients (50.2% response rate). Seventy-one percent of the responding patients preferred the cardiac rehabilitation as offered with three weekly centre-based sessions, whereas 12% preferred and 17% considered replacing two out of the three centre-based sessions per week with mHealth. Forty-eight percent were interested in continuing exercise training using mHealth after completion of cardiac rehabilitation. Smartphone ownership was the most important indicator for patient interest in mHealth (odds ratio [OR] 2.54, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.53–4.23), whereas age (per year) was not independently associated with mHealth interest for phase II (OR 0.99, 95% CI 0.98–1.01) and only weakly associated with phase III (OR 0.98, 95% CI 0.96–0.99).


In a Swiss urban region with easy access to cardiac rehabilitation, patients who participated in a centre-based cardiac rehabilitation programme between 2013 and 2018 showed little interest in mHealth during phase II. However, almost half of them expressed interest in continuing training with mHealth during phase III.


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