By Neha Pathak
Access to care via telephone or digital, wireless or Bluetooth telemonitoring technology reduces mortality and hospitalisation rates for patients with chronic heart failure, according to a gold-standard systematic review by Australian researchers.
The researchers performed a meta-analysis of 25 peer-reviewed studies of 9,500 patients, comparing telephone interventions to usual care over follow-up periods ranging from 3-18 months.
Structured telephone support resulted in a relative risk reduction of 23% in hospitalisation compared to patients given usual care, but a significant effect on mortality was not observed.
Telemonitoring reduced the relative risk of both hospitalisation and mortality rates by 21% and 34% respectively.
Lead researcher Dr Sally Inglis, a postdoctoral fellow at the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute in Melbourne, concluded: ‘There are benefits of structured telephone support and telemonitoring for patients with chronic heart failure. These technologies can provide specialised care to large number of patients who otherwise may have limited access to this type of specialised healthcare.'
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2010, Issue 8. Art. No.: CD007228Telephone support can help reduce hospitalisations