Abstract 16122: The iHeartchange Website Targeting Transitioning Patients with Congenital Heart Disease: Feasibility Outcomes
Introduction: AHA guidelines recommend initiatives to improve the rate of transfer and quality of transition of patients with congenital heart disease (CHD) from pediatric to adult cardiac care. However, (a) there are few published interventions for transitioning patients with CHD, (b) strategies for effectively engaging adolescents are unknown, and (c) proposed initiatives (e.g., transition clinics) are often resource intensive. We thus developed and evaluated the feasibility of a website (iHeartChange) targeting the needs of transitioning CHD patients.
Methods: All patients transferring from a pediatric to adult CHD program in a 1-year period were invited to participate in a study by mail and telephone. Feasibility outcomes, in terms of eligibility and participation rates as well as patient acceptance of the website intervention, are reported.
Results: A total of 207 CHD patients aged 16-19 were transferred in 1 year, of whom 187 (mean age = 17.7 years, 58% male, 75% with defects of moderate/great complexity) met full inclusion criteria (had cognitive and language abilities to provide informed consent, complete online surveys, and review the website). Thirty-four percent (63/187) of eligible patients logged onto the website and completed baseline surveys; there were no differences in age, sex, or defect complexity between patients who did and did not complete baseline surveys. Forty-three patients have thus far completed follow-up surveys at least 1 month after initial website access. The majority mostly or strongly agreed that the website was easy (95%) and fun to use (83%), gave information they could trust (95%) and was useful (93%), gave a better understanding of medical issues related to CHD (85%), should be offered to all patients moving to adult care (90%), and is something they would use again if available (88%).
Conclusions: This study demonstrated strong feasibility of the iHeartChange website. One-third of patients chose to access a website as part of a research study; higher usage is anticipated if offered in a clinical setting. Adolescent feedback in terms of design and content was extremely positive. A website targeting transitioning CHD patients, therefore, holds significant clinical promise.
- © 2012 by American Heart Association, Inc.