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Telehealth interventions for the secondary prevention of coronary heart disease

September 05, 2017

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."

Full bibliographic information: 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.

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