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Effects of multidisciplinary Internet-based program on management of heart failure

Authors Machiko R. Tomita MR, Tsai B, Fisher NM, Kumar NA, Wilding G, Stanton K, Naughton BJ

Published 16 December 2008 Volume 2009:2 Pages 13—21


Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Machiko R Tomita1, Bin-Min Tsai2, Nadine M Fisher1, Neeraj A Kumar1, Greg Wilding3, Kathy Stanton1, Bruce J Naughton4

1Department of Rehabilitation Science, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York, USA; 2Department of Occupational Therapy, I-Shou University, Taiwan; 3Department of Biostatistics, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York, USA; 4Department of Medicine, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York, USA

Objectives: To develop and test the effectiveness of an Internet-based self management program by multidisciplinary health care professionals for patients with heart failure (HF).

Methods: The comprehensive educational material for HF was created and posted on a website. A computer with Internet connection and computer training were provided first. A secure and simple web-based recording system of vital signs and health behaviors and a mechanism for feedback regarding each participant’s record were developed. A randomized controlled trial with a one-year intervention was conducted using a total of 40 patients who were assessed three times in their homes. An intention-to-treat analysis used multivariate statistics.

Results: The treatment group had a high (85%) adherence to the intervention. Only the treatment group showed a significant improvement in the knowledge level (p < 0.001), amount of exercise (p = 0.001), and quality of life (p = 0.001), and reduction in HF related symptoms (dyspnea, p = 0.001; fatigue, p = 0.003; functional emotion, p < 0.001), blood pressure (systolic, p = 0.002; diastolic, p < 0.001), frequency of emergency room visit, and length of hospital stay (both p = 0.001).

Conclusions: An effective program to change one’s behaviors in managing HF takes a multidisciplinary approach to create and provide feedback regarding a patient’s daily record, which can be accomplished through Internet use.

Keywords: e-health, self-management, Internet, heart failure, older adults, exercise

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