The impact of mobile applications on the self-care of people with heart failure

a systematic review of the literature




heart failure, mobile applications, self care


Introduction: Heart failure is a chronic and progressive disease, with high rates of hospital readmission, mortality and morbidity. As a chronic disease, it is essential that people adopt self-care practices to manage their disease more effectively. Digital health technologies, such as mobile applications, can work as facilitators for the self-care of people with heart failure.

Objective: Identify the efficacy of mobile applications in the improvement of self-care in people with heart failure.

Methods: Systematic review of the literature from the electronic databases - CINAHL Complete, MEDLINE Complete and SciELO carried out in january 2021. Articles published between may 2015 and december 2020 are considered.

Results: The research resulted in 67 articles, and 7 of them were included in this review. The use of mobile applications led to improvements in the self-care of the participants from the various studies analysed.

Conclusion: The results suggest that the use of mobile applications is effective in improving self-care in cases of heart failure.


American College of Sports Medicine. (2018). ACSM’s guideline for exercise testing and prescription (10th ed.) Alphen, NL: Wolters Kluwer.

Arulnathan, A., Vaaheesan, S., & Denecke, K. (2019). A mobile application for self-monitoring for patients with heart failure. Studies in Health Technology and Informatics, 259, 113–116.

Athilingam, P., & Jenkins, B. (2018). Mobile Phone Apps to support heart failure self-care management: integrative review. JMIR Cardio, 2(1), e10057.

Athilingam, P., Jenkins, B., Johansson, M., & Labrador, M. (2017). A Mobile Health Intervention to Improve Self-Care in Patients With Heart Failure: Pilot Randomized Control Trial. JMIR Cardio, 1(2), e3.

Foster, M. (2018). A mobile application for patients with heart failure: Theory- and evidence-based design and testing. CIN - Computers Informatics Nursing, 36(11), 540–549.

Harkness, K., Spaling, M. A., Currie, K., Strachan, P. H., & Clark, A. M. (2015). A systematic review of patient heart failure self-care strategies. Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, 30(2), 121–135.

International Council of Nurses. (2019). ICNP Browser. Acedido em:

Jiang, Y., Shorey, S., Nguyen, H. D., Wu, V. X., Lee, C. Y., Yang, L. F., ... Wang, W. (2020). The development and pilot study of a nurse-led HOMe-based HEart failure self-Management Programme (the HOM-HEMP) for patients with chronic heart failure, following Medical Research Council guidelines. European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, 19(3), 212–222.

Joanna Briggs Institute. (2013). JBI Levels ofEvidence. Acedido em:

Kiyarosta, N., Najafi Ghezeljeh, T., Naghashzadeh, F., Feizi, M., & Haghani, S. (2020). The effect of using smartphone applications on self-care in patients with heart failure. Nursing Practice Today, 7(4), 245–254.

Lloyd, T., Buck, H., Foy, A., Black, S., Pinter, A., Pogash, R.,... Boehmer, J. (2019). The Penn State Heart Assistant: A pilot study of a web-based intervention to improve self-care of heart failure patients. Health Informatics Journal, 25(2), 292–303.

Long, L., Mordi, I. R., Bridges, C., Sagar, V. A., Davies, E. J., Coats, A. J., … Taylor, R. S. (2019). Exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation for adults with heart failure. The Cochrane database of systematic reviews, 1(1), CD003331.

Ponikowski, P., Voors, A. A., Anker, S. D., Bueno, H., Cleland, J., Coats, A., ... Van der Meer, P. (2016). 2016 ESC Guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic heart failure: The Task Force for the diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic heart failure of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC), Developed with the special contribution of the Heart Failure Association (HFA) of the ESC. European heart journal, 37(27), 2129–2200.

Radhakrishnan, K., Toprac, P., O’Hair, M., Bias, R., Kim, M. T., Bradley, P., & Mackert, M. (2016). Interactive digital e-health game for heart failure self-management: A feasibility study. Games for Health Journal, 5(6), 366–374.

Riegel, B., & Dickson, V. V. (2008). A situation-specific theory of heart failure self-care. Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, 23(3), 190–196.

Riegel, B., Dickson, V. V., & Faulkner, K. M. (2016). The situation-specific theory of heart failure self-care revised and updated. Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, 31(3), 226–235.

Riegel, B., Jaarsma, T., & Strömberg, A. (2012). A middle-range theory of self-care of chronic illness. Advances in Nursing Science, 35(3), 194–204.

Sharma, A., Mentz, R. J., Granger, B. B., Heitner, J. F., Cooper, L. B., Banerjee, D., ... Felker, G. M. (2019). Utilizing mobile technologies to improve physical activity and medication adherence in patients with heart failure and diabetes mellitus: Rationale and design of the TARGET-HF-DM Trial. American Heart Journal, 211, 22–33.

Toukhsati, S. R., Driscoll, A., & Hare, D. L. (2015). Patient self-management In chronic heart failure — establishing concordance between guidelines and practice. Cardiac Failure Review, 1(2), 128.

Tucker, W. J., Beaudry, R. I., Liang, Y., Clark, A. M., Tomczak, C. R., Nelson, M. D., ... Haykowsky, M. J. (2019). Meta-analysis of exercise training on left ventricular ejection fraction in heart failure with reduced ejection fraction: A 10-year update. Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases, 62(2), 163–171.





Life and Healthcare Sciences