My Hypertension Education and Reaching Target (MyHEART): Development and Dissemination of a Patient-Centered Website for Young Adults with Hypertension

JMIR Cardio. 2017 Jul-Dec;1(2):e5. doi: 10.2196/cardio.8025. Epub 2017 Sep 17.


Background: Young adults (18 to 39 years old) with hypertension have the lowest rates of blood pressure control (defined as blood pressure less than 140/90 mmHg) compared to other adult age groups. Approximately 1 in 15 young adults have high blood pressure, increasing their risk of future heart attack, stroke, congestive heart failure, and/or chronic kidney disease. Many young adults reported having few resources to address their needs for health education on managing cardiovascular risk.

Objective: The goal of our study was to develop and disseminate a website with evidence-based, clinical information and health behavior resources tailored to young adults with hypertension.

Methods: In collaboration with young adults, health systems, and community stakeholders, the My Hypertension Education and Reaching Target (MyHEART) website was created. A toolkit was also developed for clinicians and healthcare systems to disseminate the website within their organizations. The dissemination plan was guided by the Dissemination Planning Tool of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

Results: Google Analytics data were acquired for January 1, 2017 to June 29, 2017. The MyHEART website received 1090 visits with 2130 page views; 18.99% (207/1090) were returning visitors. The majority (55.96%, 610/1090) approached the website through organic searches, 34.95% (381/1090) accessed the MyHEART website directly, and 5.96% (65/1090) approached through referrals from other sites. There was a spike in site visits around times of increased efforts to disseminate the website.

Conclusions: The successfully implemented MyHEART website and toolkit reflect collaborative input from community and healthcare stakeholders to provide evidence-based, portable hypertension education to a hard-to-reach population. The MyHEART website and toolkit can support healthcare providers' education and counseling with young adults and organizations' hypertension population health goals.

Keywords: World Wide Web; hypertension; patient engagement; quality improvement; young adults.