A proactive mobile health application program for promoting self-care health management among older adults in the community: Study protocol of a three-arm randomized controlled trial

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


Background: The use of mobile health (mHealth) has become common in recent years and is regarded as one of the most effective interventions for developing disease-specific management skills and establishing confidence in making preventive health behavior changes and accomplishing health-related goals among community-dwelling older adults. Most mHealth designs adopt a reactive care approach whereby health care professionals do not respond until they receive abnormal assessment results from the database or a message or signal from the client. The purpose of this study is to determine the effectiveness of a proactive mobile health application program with the support of a community health-social care team for older adults dwelling in the community on improving their self-care health management. Methods: This is a three-armed, randomized controlled trial. The study will be conducted in 7 community centers with an estimated sample size of 282 participants. The participants will be randomly assigned to mHealth with interactivity, mHealth, and control groups when they are (1) aged 60 or above, (2) complaining chiefly of pain, hypertension, or diabetes mellitus, (3) living within the service areas, and (4) smartphone users. Subjects in the mHealth with interactivity group will receive 2 main elements, the mHealth application and nurse case management supported by a social service team. The mHealth group will receive the mHealth application only. The primary outcome measure will be self-efficacy, and secondary outcomes will include self-management outcomes (pain score, blood pressure, capillary blood glucose), client outcomes (quality of life, depression), and health service utilization outcomes (institutionalization and health service utilization [general practitioner, outpatient clinic, emergency room, hospital admission]). Data will be collected before intervention, after intervention, and 3 months after intervention. Discussion: The incremental benefits of adding interactivity in the mHealth program have not been confirmed. This present study will add valuable information to the knowledge gap of whether mHealth with nurse interaction supported by a health-social partnership can improve self-care management among community-dwelling older adults.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)506-513
Number of pages8
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2020


  • Interactivity
  • Mobile health
  • Older people
  • Self-care
  • Self-management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ageing
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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