Nutr Res Pract.  2019 Dec;13(6):509-520. 10.4162/nrp.2019.13.6.509.

Effects of a mobile healthcare service provided by public health centers on practicing of health behaviors and health risk factors

Affiliations
  • 1Korea Health Promotion Institute, Seoul 04554, Korea.
  • 2Department of Family Medicine, Seoul Paik Hospital, Inje University College of Medicine, 9, Mareunnae-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul 04551, Korea. yangimhur@gmail.com
  • 3Department of Family Medicine, Kangbuk Samsung Hospital, Sungkyunkwan University College of Medicine, Seoul 03181, Korea. fmleader@nuri.net

Abstract

BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES
This study evaluated whether a mobile health (mHealth) application can instigate healthy behavioral changes and improvements in metabolic disorders in individuals with metabolic abnormalities.
SUBJECTS/METHODS
Participants were divided into an mHealth intervention group (IG), which used a mobile app for 24 weeks, and a conventional IG. All mobile apps featured activity monitors, with blood pressure and glucose monitors, and body-composition measuring devices. The two groups were compared after 24 weeks in terms of health-behavior practice rate and changes in the proportion of people with health risks, and health behaviors performed by the IG that contributed to reductions in more than one health risk factor were analyzed using multiple logistic regression.
RESULTS
Preference for low-sodium diet, reading nutritional facts, having breakfast, and performing moderate physical activity significantly increased in the mHealth IG. Furthermore, the mHealth IG showed a significant increase of eight items in the mini-dietary assessment; particularly, the items "I eat at least two types of vegetables of various colors at every meal" and "I consume dairies, such as milk, yogurt, and cheese, every day." The proportion of people with health risks, with the exception of fasting glucose, significantly decreased in the mHealth IG, while only the proportion of people with at-risk triglycerides and waist circumference of females significantly decreased in the control group. Finally, compared to those who did not show improvements of health risks, those who showed improvements of health risks in the mHealth IG had an odds ratio of 1.61 for moderate to vigorous physical activity, 1.65 for "I do not add more salt or soy sauce in my food," and 1.77 for "I remove fat in my meat before eating."
CONCLUSIONS
The findings suggest that the additional use of a community-based mHealth service through a mobile application is effective for improving health behaviors and lowering metabolic risks in Koreans.

Keyword

Disease management; diet; exercise; health behavior; smartphone; mobile health

MeSH Terms

Blood Pressure
Breakfast
Cheese
Delivery of Health Care*
Diet
Diet, Sodium-Restricted
Disease Management
Fasting
Female
Glucose
Health Behavior*
Humans
Logistic Models
Meat
Milk
Mobile Applications
Motor Activity
Odds Ratio
Public Health*
Risk Factors*
Smartphone
Soy Foods
Telemedicine
Triglycerides
Vegetables
Waist Circumference
Yogurt
Glucose
Triglycerides
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