Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Communication Technologies Help Cardiac Patients Improve Their Prognosis

Date:
June 16, 2009
Source:
European Society of Cardiology
Summary:
Phone and Internet make rehabilitation programs more accessible.

The use of phone and internet between patients and healthcare providers is an effective way to reduce risk factors for coronary heart disease and the risk of further events after a heart attack, according to new research published in the June issue of the European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention & Rehabilitation.

The study's senior investigator, Professor Ben Freedman from the Department of Cardiology at Concord Repatriation General Hospital, Sydney, Australia, says that the provision of "telehealth" models could help increase the uptake of coronary prevention activities by those without access to cardiac rehabilitation, and "narrow the gap between evidence and practice".

That evidence has already shown that formal cardiac rehabilitation programmes consistently reduce the risk of further events (secondary prevention), improve personal risk factor profiles, encourage compliance with drug therapy, and enhance quality of life through exercise and education. However, according to Professor Freedman, it is also known that only one-third of eligible patients participate in cardiac rehabilitation programmes in Europe, the USA and Australia. This new study, a systematic review of trials applying new communication technologies in cardiac prevention, suggests that telehealth can indeed provide an "innovative model" by which access is increased and the "diverse nature of people and communities accommodated".

The review analysed all published randomised trials evaluating a telephone or internet-based intervention whose end-points were a measure of mortality, changes in levels of multiple risk factors for heart disease, or quality of life.

Says the study's lead author Lis Neubeck from Concord Repatriation General Hospital in Sydney: "We aimed to determine if, in a world increasingly dominated by electronic technology, interventions for preventing recurrent coronary disease could be delivered in innovative ways to enable more people to access effective secondary prevention. Our analysis, which involved more than 3000 patients across 11 studies, suggests that the electronic age is indeed providing effective alternatives for the delivery of preventive health change."

The study defined telehealth prevention programmes as those which made at least 50 per cent of their patient contact through telephone or internet. However, total patient contact in the studies assessed varied in length – from just 40 minutes to nine hours. In more than half the studies a nurse delivered the intervention. The most common methods of contact were by telephone, and around half the trials supplemented new technology communication with written information. Only two of the 11 trials used an internet programme, which included progress graphs, online rewards and discussion groups with experts and other patients. No trials using other communication technologies – such as video conferencing – were found.

Results of the analysis showed that the telehealth interventions were associated with a 30 per cent lower mortality rate than non-intervention controls, but this was not statistically significant and reflected a real-life "absolute" risk reduction of 1 per cent. However, there were significant findings in the effect of telehealth on modifiable risk factors for coronary disease. Follow-up showed lower total cholesterol levels in the telehealth patients than in controls, lower levels of systolic blood pressure, and fewer people continuing to smoke. Favourable effects were also found in levels of physical activity and quality of life.

"People today are increasingly time-poor," says Lis Neubeck, "and attendance at a centre-based programme for the secondary prevention of recurrent coronary events tends to limit access. Utilising electronic technologies has the potential to increase access for these services without compromising outcomes.

"It's worth noting that three of the programmes we reviewed were from Australia. The CHOICE study, for example, showed that a brief flexible intervention provides effective risk factor reduction for 12 months following an acute heart event. Reaching people in rural and remote communities is a particular problem in Australia and these interventions have the potential to overcome barriers of time and distance, thus enabling us to reach populations with problems in accessing healthcare, at affordable cost."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by European Society of Cardiology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Neubeck L, Redfern J, Fernandez R, Briffa T, Bauman A, Freedman SB. Telehealth interventions for the secondary prevention of coronary heart disease: a systematic review. Eur J Cardiovasc Prev Rehabil, 2009; 16; 281-289

Cite This Page:

European Society of Cardiology. "New Communication Technologies Help Cardiac Patients Improve Their Prognosis." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 June 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090616182351.htm>.
European Society of Cardiology. (2009, June 16). New Communication Technologies Help Cardiac Patients Improve Their Prognosis. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090616182351.htm
European Society of Cardiology. "New Communication Technologies Help Cardiac Patients Improve Their Prognosis." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090616182351.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

AP (July 28, 2014) A bipartisan deal to improve veterans health care would authorize at least $15 billion in emergency spending to fix a veterans program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

AFP (July 28, 2014) The worst-ever outbreak of the deadly Ebola epidemic grips west Africa, killing hundreds. Duration: 00:48 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins