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Health Services Research & Development

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Remote Cardiac Rehabilitation

Wakefield BJ, Klobucar TF, Kaboli PJ. Remote Cardiac Rehabilitation. Poster session presented at: VA Telehealth 2010 and Beyond Conference on Expanding Patient-Centric Care; 2010 May 12; St. Louis, MO.


Cardiac rehabilitation/secondary prevention (CR) services provide significant benefits for persons with cardiovascular disease (CVD). These benefits of CR in prevention of CVD events are well documented and are widely endorsed within the medical community. Although the benefits of CR are well known, within the VA system a barrier to participation in CR programs is geographic access to on-site programs, especially in rural areas. This project will develop a home telehealth-based CR program and test the feasibility and safety of the program for rural veterans in VISN 23. The first step of the project is to conduct a record review of patients who are currently referred to fee-basis CR programs (currently underway). While the record review is being conducted, we will begin design of the program, i.e., processes for patient identification, referral and screening, as well as developing a cardiac rehabilitation disease management protocol for home telehealth messaging devices currently in use in the VA. We will then test the feasibility (e.g., referral processes, patient and provider acceptance, uptake, clinical outcomes) and safety (e.g., incidence of adverse events) of the program. The evaluation approach will be an equivalence study, i.e., patient outcomes will be the same/similar in patients who participate in either the current program or the telemedicine program. Program outcomes include demographics, blood pressure, lipid profiles, weight, medication adherence, depression, resource utilization, quality of life, knowledge of cardiac risk factors, satisfaction, adverse events, and program completion rates.

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