Telemonitoring helps patients with chronic heart failure

August 26, 2010

Support and monitoring via the telephone for patients who have chronic heart failure helps reduce the risk of mortality from all causes, and hospitalizations related to the chronic heart failure, according to a study recently published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. These interventions also were found to improve patient quality of life, reduce costs, and improve evidence-based prescribing.

Support and monitoring via the telephone for patients who have chronic heart failure helps reduce the risk of mortality from all causes and hospitalizations related to the chronic heart failure, according to a study recently published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. These interventions also were found to improve patient quality of life, reduce costs, and improve evidence-based prescribing.

Using several databases and search engines, the authors reviewed randomized controlled trials of telephone support or monitoring compared with standard treatment. They searched by hand the bibliographies of published, peer-reviewed studies deemed applicable, as well as systematic reviews and abstracts of medical meeting presentations. Ultimately, 25 studies and 5 published abstracts representing a total of more than 8,300 patients were included in the analysis.

The investigation revealed that telemonitoring reduced all-cause mortality. Structured telephone support demonstrated a non-significant positive effect in this regard.

Additionally, the use of structured telemonitoring and telephone support was found to reduce chronic heart failure-related hospitalizations. Both contributed to improved quality of life and reduced healthcare costs and were acceptable to patients in many studies. The interventions also led to increased patient knowledge and self care in some instances.