Support hotline may help heart patients

June 4th, 2009 - 2:35 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, June 4 (IANS) A support hotline for heart patients is of great benefit, a new study has found.
Patients inhabiting Australia’s hinterlands with access to the “Chronic Heart failure Assistance by Telephone” (CHAT) were one-third less likely to die or need hospital treatment.

CHAT is an automated answering service supplemented by qualified cardiac nurses. Patients’ medication, general health, day-to-day routines and their heart condition were regularly monitored. Patients were encouraged to undertake check-ups and self-assessment surveys.

One hundred and thirty six GPs were recruited to support the year-long study, involving more than 400 patients. The results were presented at the European Heart Failure Association meeting in Nice, France (May 30-June 2) by the principal study investigator, Henry Krum.

Krum, who is a professor at Monash University, Melbourne, said the study showed that phone support for people living outside city areas was valuable for heart patients.

“The CHAT study demonstrated significant reductions in hospitalisation for any cause and a highly significant 35 percent reduction in death or hospitalisation,” said Krum, according to a Monash release.

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