Sussie Laustsen

Tele-rehabilitation and hospital-based cardiac rehabilitation are comparable in increasing patient activation and health literacy: A pilot study

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Background: Cardiac tele-rehabilitation is defined as using information and communication technology to support rehabilitation services. However, it requires a high level of patient activation and health literacy; this has not yet been explored. Aims: The purpose of this study was to evaluate patient activation and health literacy in tele-rehabilitation compared to hospital-based cardiac rehabilitation. Methods: We conducted a pilot study in patients with ischaemic or heart valve disease. In a non-randomised design, 24 patients attended a 12-week tele-rehabilitation programme, and 53 matched controls a 12-week hospital-based cardiac rehabilitation programme. The primary outcome was patient activation, which was assessed using the Patient Activation Measure before the intervention, at the end of the intervention and at follow-up six months after the intervention. The secondary outcome was health literacy, assessed using three dimensions from the Health Literacy Questionnaire before rehabilitation and at six-month follow-up: actively manage my health (HLQ3), ability to engage with healthcare providers (HLQ6) and understanding health information (HLQ9). Results: Patient activation improved similarly in tele-rehabilitation and hospital-based cardiac rehabilitation at all time points. Six months after the intervention, patients in tele-rehabilitation significantly improved on the dimension HLQ6 compared to patients in hospital-based cardiac rehabilitation. No significant between-group differences were found in HLQ3 or HLQ9. Conclusion: Tele-rehabilitation and hospital-based cardiac rehabilitation seemed to be equally successful in improving patient activation and health literacy. Tele-rehabilitation should be further tested in a randomised controlled trial, with a focus on whether patient levels of education and self-management at the initiation of rehabilitation are decisive factors for tele-rehabilitation participation.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing
Pages (from-to)376-385
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020

    Research areas

  • Health literacy, patient activation, pilot study, tele-health, tele-rehabilitation

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