Department of Psychology and Behavioural Sciences

"Future Patient" Telerehabilitation for Patients With Heart Failure: Protocol for a Randomized Controlled Trial

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  • Birthe Dinesen, Aalborg University, Denmark
  • Lars Dittmann, Danish Technical University, Denmark
  • Josefine Dam Gade, Aalborg University, Denmark
  • Cecilia Klitgaard Jørgensen, Aalborg University, Denmark
  • Malene Hollingdal, Cardiology Ward, Regional Hospital in Viborg, Viborg, Denmark., Denmark
  • Soeren Leth, Aalborg University, Denmark
  • Camilla Melholt, Aalborg University, Denmark
  • Helle Spindler
  • Jens Refsgaard

BACKGROUND: Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of mortality worldwide, accounting for 13%-15% of all deaths. Cardiac rehabilitation has poor compliance and adherence. Telerehabilitation has been introduced to increase patients' participation, access, and adherence with the help of digital technologies. The target group is patients with heart failure. A telerehabilitation program called "Future Patient" has been developed and consists of three phases: (1) titration of medicine (0-3 months), (2) implementation of the telerehabilitation protocols (3 months), and (3) follow-up with rehabilitation in everyday life (6 months). Patients in the Future Patient program measure their blood pressure, pulse, weight, number of steps taken, sleep, and respiration and answer questions online regarding their well-being. All data are transmitted and accessed in the HeartPortal by patients and health care professionals.

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this paper is to describe the research design, outcome measures, and data collection techniques in the clinical test of the Future Patient Telerehabilitation Program for patients with heart failure.

METHODS: A randomized controlled study will be performed. The intervention group will follow the Future Patient Telerehabilitation program, and the control group will follow the traditional cardiac rehabilitation program. The primary outcome is quality of life measured by the Kansas City Cardiomyopathy Questionnaire. Secondary outcomes are development of clinical data; illness perception; motivation; anxiety and depression; health and electronic health literacy; qualitative exploration of patients', spouses', and health care professionals' experiences of participating in the telerehabilitation program; and a health economy evaluation of the program. Outcomes were assessed using questionnaires and through the data generated by digital technologies.

RESULTS: Data collection began in December 2016 and will be completed in October 2019. The study results will be published in peer-reviewed journals and presented at international conferences. Results from the Future Patient Telerehabilitation program are expected to be published by the spring of 2020.

CONCLUSIONS: The expected outcomes are increased quality of life, increased motivation and illness perception, reduced anxiety and depressions, improved electronic health literacy, and health economics benefits. We expect the study to have a clinical impact for future telerehabilitation of patients with heart failure.



Original languageEnglish
Article numbere14517
JournalJMIR research protocols
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2019

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