HeartPath+: Targeting self-efficacy and health literacy through patient education to prevent recurrent heart events in Australians with heart disease

Modifiable risk factors account for 80% of heart disease and secondary prevention is critical to living a long and healthy life. Therefore, identifying strategies to support patients and families in risk factor management is essential. Self-efficacy – an individuals’ belief in their ability to make behaviour changes, is essential for long term risk factor management. In order to build self-efficacy, health literacy is also required. Health literacy now extends beyond functional health literacy (the ability to read and understand health information), to include other facets such as appraisal of health information, the ability to interact with healthcare providers, and to navigate the healthcare system. By targeting comprehensive health literacy, we can begin to build self-efficacy for risk factor management to lead to behaviour changes. 

Consumers have told us in our previous qualitative and co-design research that they have unmet information and education needs and find it difficult to navigate the fragmented healthcare system. They would like a simple digital intervention to address these needs. 

Through seed funding we have developed an initial co-designed website prototype (HeartPath) which will be extended to become HeartPath+. New features will be guided by the Health Literacy Intervention Model and designed through co-design. We will add screening and tailored information for key heart disease risk factors and expand the website to cater for culturally and linguistically diverse patients and families. 

We will then conduct a pilot effectiveness/implementation study at one site to evaluate the intervention effectiveness to increase self-efficacy for patients and families to actively manage health (outcome designated by our consumer co-researchers), in addition to secondary outcomes including self-efficacy and health literacy. We will evaluate implementation of HeartPath+ and begin to explore the cost effectiveness of using this intervention at scale.

This project is funded by the MRFF Preventive and Public Health Research Initiative, led by CIA Dr Susie Cartledge

The Team:
  • Dr Susie Cartledge, Monash University 
  • Dr Alison Beauchamp, Monash University
  • Prof Andrea Driscoll, Deakin University 
  • Prof Adrienne O’Neil, Deakin University
  • Prof Julie Redfern, University of Sydney
  • Prof Robyn Gallagher, University of Sydney
  • A/Prof Dion Stub, Monash University
  • A/Prof Janet Bray, Monash University
  • Prof Rory Wolfe, Monash University
  • Dr Ella Zoma, Monash University
  • Dr Ling Zhang, University of Sydney
  • Dr Barbara Murphy, Australian Centre for Heart Health 
  • Dr Li Li, Monash University
  • Ms Rebecca Nourse, Deakin University
  • Mr Cyril Hennequin, Consumer 
  • (AI) Ms Kerry Bratby, Consumer