A pilot evaluation of Swasthya Pahal program using SMAART informatics framework to support NCD self-management


Background: Empirical research acknowledges the capability of mHealth and eHealth interventions for ensuring high-quality and tailored healthcare to individuals. People living with various health conditions get access to a wide range of healthcare services through digital interventions. The aim of the study is to examine the usefulness of Swasthya Pahal, a community-based Health for all program, aimed to enhance screening and self-management of diabetes, hypertension, and obesity among police personnel. Methods: A convenient sample of 64 individuals aged 18 years and above present at the Police Sanchar Training Centre, Dehradun, Uttarakhand were enrolled over 2 days in January 2020. The Swasthya Pahal pilot program was approved by the Uttarakhand State Police authorities. Individuals' health data was recorded using an interactive, bi-lingual, touch screen, computer-based program. Subjective data was collected and self-reported information was gathered about (I) socio-demographics, (II) health behaviors, (III) clinical status, and (IV) Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices (KAP). Objective data assessments included measurements such as weight, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels using a series of physiological sensors. Additional information gathered at 1 month follow up included modifications that individuals made in their self-management of diabetes and hypertension, diet, physical activity, alcohol consumption, and smoking. Information was gathered related to individuals' interest in receiving SMS based health messages. Results: The average age of study participants was 37 (SD =8) years, 88% were males, and 42% had graduate education. Hypertension (31%) was found to be the most common family history. Thirty-six percent of individuals were presently smokers or consumed alcohol. Sixty-two percent of them self-reported doing some form of exercise. Walking, jogging and yoga were the most common exercise types. Eighty-seven percent of them were not receiving any treatment to self-manage hypertension. Based on the JNC 8 criteria, 37% of the individuals were hypertensive. Fifty of the 64 individuals expressed interest to receive SMS message, 64% of them expressed keenness to receive weekly SMS messages. Messages related to diet, physical activity, sleep, and smoking and alcohol consumption were perceived as important. Conclusions: The Swasthya Pahal program using the SMAART informatics framework is a useful tool to enhance screening and self-management of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) among police personnel.

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