Managing your heart health with behaviour change
It's about living well.
Our goal is to help individuals prevent and manage cardiovascular disease through behavioural change.
Cardiac eHealth was established in 2004. Originally named the Behavioural Cardiology Research Unit, it is located at the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, University Health Network (UHN), Toronto, Canada. UHN is the largest research institution in Canada and its hospitals are the primary teaching hospitals for the University of Toronto.
Dr. Rob Nolan
Dr. Nolan is Director of Cardiac eHealth at the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre and a Clinical Psychologist and Scientist at the Toronto General Research Institute. His affiliations include Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Institute of Medical Science at the University of Toronto, and Adjunct Professor in Psychology at York University.
Dr. Nolan’s research focuses on evidence-based e-counselling to promote heart health and quality of life among individuals with high blood pressure or heart failure.
1. Promote health and quality of life through digital counselling
Lifestyle behaviours such as heart healthy diet and regular exercise are essential to the health and quality of life of those with, or who are at higher risk for heart disease. Our primary focus is to help individuals better manage their heart health by offering effective and user-friendly digital counselling programs. These e-programs not only work hand-in-hand with the prescribed treatment plan from the health care team, but also provide the guidance and support to start and maintain heart healthy lifestyle changes. We developed these e-programs using scientifically tested content and digital tools. Also, we are building a pan-Canadian network with our collaborators to deliver these preventive e-counselling programs to people living with chronic medical conditions across Canada.
2. Controlling heart rate and blood pressure using behavioural neurocardiac regulation
We are also interested in the brain and heart connection in controlling heart rate and blood pressure in individuals with, or who are at higher risk for heart disease. We are testing the benefits of training individuals in biofeedback and relaxation techniques to reduce heart rate and blood pressure, and consequently improve quality of life. This work spans different specialities: cardiology, neurology, kinesiology/physiology, medical engineering, and psychology. Our publications include 2 clinical trials of a novel intervention: Behavioral Neurocardiac Training (BNT). We are working on a plan to extend access to BNT.