Mobile health (mHealth) interventions may improve heart failure (HF) self-care, but standard models do not address informal caregivers’ needs for information about the patient’s status or how the caregiver can help.
With funding from the VA Health Services Research and Development program, CMCD investigators evaluated mHealth support for caregivers of HF patients over-and-above the impact of a standard mHealth approach. 331 HF patients participated, all of whom identified a “CarePartner” outside their household. Patients randomized to “standard mHealth” received twelve months of weekly interactive voice response (IVR) calls including questions about their health and self-management. Based on patients’ responses, they received tailored self-management advice, and their clinical team received structured fax alerts regarding serious health concerns. Patients randomized to “mHealth+CP” received an identical intervention, but with automated email updates sent to their CarePartner after each IVR call.
More mHealth+CP patients reported taking medications as prescribed at 6 and 12 months. More mHealth+CP patients reported talking with their CarePartner at least twice per week, and mHealth+CP patients were less likely to report negative emotions during those interactions. mHealth+CP patients were consistently more likely to report taking medications as prescribed during weekly IVR assessments, and also were less likely to report breathing problems or weight gains. Importantly, CarePartners who were more stressed and depressed at enrollment were more likely to have those symptoms of caregiving burden decreased if they were receiving regular feedback and suggestions for helping their loved-one.
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Heart Failure, Interactive Voice Response (IVR)