Heart Patients’ Experiences and Use of Social Media in Their Rehabilitation: A Qualitative Study

Camilla Bech Jørgensen
SMI, Department of Health Science and Technology, Aalborg University, Denmark

John Hansen
MI, Department of Health Science and Technology, Aalborg University, Denmark

Helle Spindler
Department of Psychology and Behavioral Sciences, Aarhus University, Denmark

Jan Jesper Andreasen
Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Center for Cardiovascular Research, Aalborg University Hospital, Denmark

Gitte Nielsen
Department of Cardiology, Vendsyssel Hospital, Denmark

Birthe Dinesen
SMI, Department of Health Science and Technology, Aalborg University, Denmark

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Ingår i: Scandinavian Conference on Health Informatics 2013; Copenhagen; Denmark; August 20; 2013

Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings 91:11, s. 51-54

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Publicerad: 2013-08-21

ISBN: 978-91-7519-518-6

ISSN: 1650-3686 (tryckt), 1650-3740 (online)


In the Teledi@log project; an interactive portal; ActiveHeart has been developed. The portal contains information for patients on how to make lifestyle changes presented in text; speech and video. The aim is to explore how heart patients experience and use social media as a part of their rehabilitation. The patients had access to the portal for three months. Qualitative interviews (n=7) were conducted and participant-observation was performed (n= 3.5 hours). A theoretical framework based upon eHealth Literacy; crisis psychology theory and learning theory has been used. The computer programme NVivo 10.0 was used toanalyse the collected data. The results show that the patients were used to finding health related information on the Internet. The patients were affected emotionally to different degrees after having had a heart attack/surgery. The patients had different competences inusing new technology; and their skills in eHealth Literacy varied. The study concludes that the patients’ emotional state may influence their ability to learn and reflect upon new information and social media can support the patients’ eHealth Literacy.


Heart patients; telerehabilitation; social media; eHealth Literacy


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