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Alushi, Kastriot; Hinterseher, Irene; Peters, Frederik; Rother, Ulrich; Bischoff, Moritz S.; Mylonas, Spyridon; Grambow, Eberhard; Gombert, Alexander; Busch, Albert; Gray, Daphne; Konstantinou, Nikolaos; Stavroulakis, Konstantinos; Horn, Marco; Goertz, Hartmut; Uhl, Christian; Federrath, Hannes; Trute, Hans-Heinrich; Kreutzburg, Thea and Behrendt, Christian-Alexander (2022): Distribution of Mobile Health Applications amongst Patients with Symptomatic Peripheral Arterial Disease in Germany: A Cross-Sectional Survey Study. In: Journal of Clinical Medicine, Vol. 11, No. 3, 498

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Background: Broadly available digital and mobile health applications (also known as mHealth) have recently gained increasing attention by the vascular community, but very little is known about the dissemination and acceptance of such technologies in certain target populations. The current study aimed to determine the user behaviour and acceptance of such digital technologies amongst patients with peripheral arterial disease (PAD). Methods: A cross-sectional survey of consecutively treated inpatients at 12 university institutions, as well as one non-university institution, was conducted. All admitted patients with symptomatic PAD were surveyed for 30 consecutive days within a flexible timeframe between 1 July and 30 September 2021. The factors associated with smartphone use were estimated via backward selection within a logistic regression model with clustered standard errors. Results: A total of 326 patients participated (response rate 96.3%), thereof 102 (34.0%) were treated for intermittent claudication (IC, 29.2% women, 70 years in median) and 198 were treated for chronic limb-threatening ischaemia (CLTI, 29.5% women, 70 years in median). Amongst all of the patients, 46.6% stated that they had not changed their lifestyle and health behaviour since the index diagnosis (four years in median), and 33.1% responded that they were not aware of the reasons for all of their medication orders. Amongst all those surveyed, 66.8% owned a smartphone (IC: 70.6%, CLTI: 64.1%), thereof 27.9% needed regular user support. While 42.5% used smartphone apps, only 15.0% used mobile health applications, and 19.0% owned wearables. One out of five patients agreed that such technologies could help to improve their healthy lifestyle. Only higher age was inversely associated with smartphone possession. Conclusions: The current survey showed that smartphones are prevalent amongst patients with peripheral arterial disease, but only a small proportion used mobile health applications and a considerable number of patients needed regular user support. Almost half of the patients did not change their lifestyle and one third were not aware of the reasons for their medication orders, emphasising room for improvement. These findings can further help to guide future projects using such applications to identify those target populations that are reachable with digital interventions.

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