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Enabling healthy choices: is ICT the highway to health improvement?

[journal article]

Lindsay, Sally; Bellaby, Paul; Smith, Simon; Baker, Rose

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Abstract The White Paper Choosing health acknowledges that there is no lack of information in the system about healthy lifestyles, but the manner of communication of risk and the level of support for lifestyle change need improvement. Action also has to be taken to address inequalities in health and to focus on securing better access to healthier choices for people in disadvantaged groups or areas. Accordingly, this randomized controlled trial examined whether access to a purpose-built health portal for heart disease could enable patients to manage better their heart conditions. We recruited 108 men and women aged 50—74 from coronary heart disease registries from a deprived area of Greater Manchester. Every participant received a new computer and one-year broadband subscription; however, only the experimental group received access to the Hearts of Salford health portal. Our results indicate that the experimental group changed their diet significantly. Specifically, they reported eating `bad foods' (such as chips, sweets, crisps, fried foods, ready meals and cakes/biscuits) significantly less often compared to the controls.
Keywords Internet
Free Keywords health inequalities; heart disease; information technology;
Document language English
Publication Year 2008
Page/Pages p. 313-331
Journal Health, 12 (2008) 3
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)