Designing a theory- and evidence-based tailored eHealth rehabilitation aftercare program in Germany and the Netherlands: study protocol

Dominique Reinwand*, Tim Kuhlmann, Julian Wienert, Hein de Vries, Sonia Lippke

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: Cardiac rehabilitation programs aim to improve health status and to decrease the risk of further cardiac events. Persons undergoing rehabilitation often have difficulties transferring the learned health behaviors into their daily routine after returning home and maybe to work. This includes physical activity as well as fruit and vegetable consumption. Computer-based tailored interventions have been shown to be effective in increasing physical activity as well as fruit and vegetable consumption. The aim of this study is, to support people in transferring these two learned behavior changes and their antecedents into their daily life after cardiac rehabilitation. Methods: The study will have a randomized controlled design and will be conducted among German and Dutch people who participated in cardiac rehabilitation. The study will consist of one intervention group which will be compared to a waiting list control group. During the eight week duration of the intervention, participants will be invited to participate in the online after-care program once per week. The intervention encourages participants to define individual health behavior goals as well as action, and coping plans to reach these self-determined goals. The effectiveness of the program will be compared between the intervention condition and the control group in terms of behavior change, antecedents of behavior change (e.g., self-efficacy), ability to return to work and increased well-being. Further, subgroup-differences will be assessed including differences between the two countries, socioeconomic inequalities and across age groups. Discussion: The present study will make a contribution to understanding how such an online-based tailored interventions enables study participants to adopt and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Implications can include how such an online program could enrich cardiac rehabilitation aftercare further.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1081
JournalBMC Public Health
Publication statusPublished - 19 Nov 2013


  • Cardiac rehabilitation aftercare
  • Physical exercise
  • Fruit and vegetable consumption
  • Multiple behavior changes
  • Internet based intervention
  • Tailored feedback
  • Cardiovascular diseases

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