Background: Hypertension (HTN) affects millions of Americans. Our Whole Lives: an eHealth toolkit for Hypertension and Cardiac Risk Factors (OWL-H) is an eHealth platform that teaches evidence-based lifestyle strategies, such mindfulness and cooking skills, to improve self-management of HTN.
Objective: The primary goal of this pilot study was to evaluate the feasibility of OWL-H combined with teaching kitchen medical group visits (TKMGVs) in a low-income population of participants with HTN.
Methods: We conducted a pre-post 8-week study to assess the feasibility of a hybrid program (a web-based 9-module self-management program, which includes mindfulness and Mediterranean and Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension diet) accompanied by 3 in-person TKMGVs among patients with HTN. Data including demographics, platform use, and satisfaction after using OWL-H were examined. Outcome data collected at baseline and 8 weeks included the Mediterranean Diet Questionnaire, Hypertension Self-Care Profile Self-Efficacy Instrument, Blood Pressure Knowledge Questionnaire, and the number of self-reported blood pressure readings. For the statistical analysis, we used descriptive statistics, paired sample t tests (1-tailed), and qualitative methods.
Results: Of the 25 enrolled participants, 22 (88%) participants completed the study. Participants' average age was 57 (SD 12.1) years, and 46% (11/24) of them reported a household income <US $30,000 per year. Among the 22 participants who logged in to OWL-H, the average number of mindfulness practices completed was 7 and the average number of module sessions accessed was 4. In all, 73% (16/22) of participants reported that they were "very satisfied" with using OWL-H to help manage their HTN. Participants' blood pressure knowledge significantly increased from baseline (mean 5.58, SD 1.44) to follow-up (mean 6.13, SD 1.23; P=.03). Participants significantly increased their adherence to a Mediterranean diet from baseline (mean 7.65, SD 2.19) to follow-up (mean 9, SD 1.68; P=.004). Participants' self-efficacy in applying heart-healthy habits, as measured by the Hypertension Self-Care Profile Self-Efficacy Instrument, increased from baseline (mean 63.67, SD 9.06) to follow-up (mean 65.54, SD 7.56; P=.14). At the 8-week follow-up, 82% (18/22) of the participants had self-reported their blood pressure on the OWL-H platform at least once during the 8 weeks.
Conclusions: The eHealth platform for HTN self-management, OWL-H, and accompanying in-person TKMGVs have the potential to effectively improve lifestyle management of HTN.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03974334; https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03974334.
Keywords: health disparities; hypertension; low income; medical group visits; mindfulness; mobile phone; teaching kitchen; technology.
©Paula Gardiner, Lisa McGonigal, Ariel Villa, Lara C Kovell, Pallavi Rohela, Andrew Cauley, Diana Rinker, Barbara Olendzki. Originally published in JMIR Formative Research (https://formative.jmir.org), 16.05.2022.