Smartphone app increases adherence to healthy behaviors after cardiac rehab

Pernille Lunde‘s PhD thesis shows that it’s both feasible and effective to follow up heart patients via a smartphone application after phase II cardiac rehabilitation.


  1. Previous research using smartphone applications to promote lifestyle changes in patients with non-communicable diseases have mainly focused on diabetes.
  2. Using a tailored smartphone app could benefit health after completing cardiac rehabilitation.
  3. Technological satisfaction with the mobile app was high.


Thesis: Feasibility and effect of long-term follow-up using a smartphone application to promote adherence to healthy behaviour post-cardiac rehabilitation
Candidate: Pernille Lunde
Time: December 4, 2020 at 12:15
Place: Online-based solution, due to the covid-19 situation
Link to university website


(1) App-based interventions can probably improve glycemic control in patients with non-communicable diseases, although the quality of evidence is low-to-moderate. Seven of nine included studies in Lunde’s meta-analysis include patients with type 2-diabetes, and the effects of app-based interventions in cardiovascular diseases are largely unknown.

(2) It is feasible to use a mobile phone app for promoting and monitoring adherence to a healthy lifestyle after cardiac rehabilitation. Lunde and colleagues developed an app where patients could set their goals and receive individual monitoring and feedback from trained health professionals. The single-arm feasibility study included 14 patients, and lasted for 12 weeks. The patients were generally satisfied with the technology, and found the intervention useful and motivational.

(3/4) One year follow-up with the same app improved peak oxygen uptake, exercise performance, exercise habits and self-perceived goal achievement. Using the app did not lead to improvements in body weight, blood pressure or lipid profile compared to the control group receiving usual care. The randomized study included 113 patients who had completed exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation following treatment for coronary artery disease or valve surgery.


(1) Lunde, P., Nilsson, B. B., Bergland, A., Kværner, K. J., & Bye, A. (2018). The effectiveness of smartphone apps for lifestyle improvement in noncommunicable diseases: systematic review and meta-analyses. Journal of medical Internet research20(5), e162.

(2) Lunde, P., Nilsson, B. B., Bergland, A., & Bye, A. (2019). Feasibility of a mobile phone app to promote adherence to a heart-healthy lifestyle: single-arm studyJMIR formative research3(2), e12679.

(3) Lunde, P., Bye, A., Bergland, A., & Nilsson, B. B. (2019). Effects of individualized follow-up with a smartphone-application after cardiac rehabilitation: protocol of a randomized controlled trialBMC Sports Science, Medicine and Rehabilitation11(1), 34.

(4) Lunde, P., Bye, A., Bergland, A., Grimsmo, J., Jarstad, E., & Nilsson, B. B. (2020). Long-term follow-up with a smartphone application improves exercise capacity post cardiac rehabilitation: A randomized controlled trialEuropean Journal of Preventive Cardiology, 2047487320905717.

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