Background: Although the potential to reduce hospitalisation and mortality in chronic heart failure (CHF) is well reported, the feasibility of receiving healthcare by structured telephone support or telemonitoring is not. Aims: To determine; adherence, adaptation and acceptability to a national nurse-coordinated telephone-monitoring CHF management strategy. The Chronic Heart Failure Assistance by Telephone Study (CHAT). Methods: Triangulation of descriptive statistics, feedback surveys and qualitative analysis of clinical notes. Cohort comprised of standard care plus intervention (SC + I) participants who completed the first year of the study. Results: 30 GPs (70% rural) randomised to SC + I recruited 79 eligible participants, of whom 60 (76%) completed the full 12 month follow-up period. During this time 3619 calls were made into the CHAT system (mean 45.81 SD ± 79.26, range 0-369), Overall there was an adherence to the study protocol of 65.8% (95% CI 0.54-0.75; p = 0.001) however, of the 60 participants who completed the 12 month follow-up period the adherence was significantly higher at 92.3% (95% CI 0.82-0.97, p ≤ 0.001). Only 3% of this elderly group (mean age 74.7 ±9.3 years) were unable to learn or competently use the technology. Participants rated CHAT with a total acceptability rate of 76.45%. Conclusion: This study shows that elderly CHF patients can adapt quickly, find telephone-monitoring an acceptable part of their healthcare routine, and are able to maintain good adherence for a least 12 months.
- Chronic heart failure
- Telephone support