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Optimising the implementation of digital-supported interventions for the secondary prevention of heart disease: a systematic review using the RE-AIM planning and evaluation framework

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posted on 2023-12-19, 04:23 authored by Caroline de Moel-Mandel, Christopher LynchChristopher Lynch, Ayuba Issaka, Justin Braver, Georgios Zisis, Melinda CarringtonMelinda Carrington, Brian OldenburgBrian Oldenburg


mHealth technologies are now widely utilised to support the delivery of secondary prevention programs in heart disease. Interventions with mHealth included have shown a similar efficacy and safety to conventional programs with improvements in access and adherence. However, questions remain regarding the successful wider implementation of digital-supported programs. By applying the Reach-Effectiveness-Adoption-Implementation-Maintenance (RE-AIM) framework to a systematic review and meta-analysis, this review aims to evaluate the extent to which these programs report on RE-AIM dimensions and associated indicators.


This review extends our previous systematic review and meta-analysis that investigated the effectiveness of digital-supported programs for patients with coronary artery disease. Citation searches were performed on the 27 studies of the systematic review to identify linked publications that reported data for RE-AIM dimensions. All included studies and, where relevant, any additional publications, were coded using an adapted RE-AIM extraction tool. Discrepant codes were discussed amongst reviewers to gain consensus. Data were analysed to assess reporting on indicators related to each of the RE-AIM dimensions, and average overall reporting rates for each dimension were calculated.


Searches found an additional nine publications. Across 36 publications that were linked to the 27 studies, 24 (89%) of the studies were interventions solely delivered at home. The average reporting rates for RE-AIM dimensions were highest for effectiveness (75%) and reach (67%), followed by adoption (54%), implementation (36%) and maintenance (11%). Eleven (46%) studies did not describe relevant characteristics of their participants or of staff involved in the intervention; most studies did not describe unanticipated consequences of the intervention; the ongoing cost of intervention implementation and maintenance; information on intervention fidelity; long-term follow-up outcomes, or program adaptation in other settings.


Through the application of the RE-AIM framework to a systematic review we found most studies failed to report on key indicators. Failing to report these indicators inhibits the ability to address the enablers and barriers required to achieve optimal intervention implementation in wider settings and populations. Future studies should consider alternative hybrid trial designs to enable reporting of implementation indicators to improve the translation of research evidence into routine practice, with special consideration given to the long-term sustainability of program effects as well as corresponding ongoing costs.


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BMC Health Services Research



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Springer Nature



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© The Author(s) 2023. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.

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