Telephone support to rural and remote patients with heart failure : the Chronic Heart failure Assessment by Telephone (CHAT) study

Krum, Henry, Forbes, Andrew, Yallop, Julie, Driscoll, Andrea, Croucher, Jo, Chan, Bianca, Clark, Robyn., Davidson, Patricia, Huynh, Luan, Kasper, Edward K., Hunt, David, Egan, Helen, Stewart, Simon, Piterman, Leon, & Tonkin, Andrew (2013) Telephone support to rural and remote patients with heart failure : the Chronic Heart failure Assessment by Telephone (CHAT) study. Cardiovascular Therapeutics, 31(4), pp. 230-237.

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Heart failure (HF) remains a condition with high morbidity and mortality. We tested a telephone support strategy to reduce major events in rural and remote Australians with HF, who have limited healthcare access. Telephone support comprised an interactive telecommunication software tool (TeleWatch) with follow-up by trained cardiac nurses.


Patients with a general practice (GP) diagnosis of HF were randomised to usual care (UC) or UC and telephone support intervention (UC+I) using a cluster design involving 143 GPs throughout Australia. Patients were followed for 12 months. The primary end-point was the Packer clinical composite score. Secondary end-points included hospitalisation for any cause, death or hospitalisation, as well as HF hospitalisation.


Four hundred and five patients were randomised into CHAT. Patients were well matched at baseline for key demographic variables. The primary end-point of the Packer Score was not different between the two groups (P=0.98), although more patients improved with UC+I. There were fewer patients hospitalised for any cause (74 versus 114, adjusted HR 0.67 [95% CI 0.50-0.89], p=0.006) and who died or were hospitalised (89 versus 124, adjusted HR 0.70 [95% CI 0.53 – 0.92], p=0.011), in the UC+I vs UC group. HF hospitalisations were reduced with UC+I (23 versus 35, adjusted HR 0.81 [95% CI 0.44 – 1.38]), although this was not significant (p=0.43). There were 16 deaths in the UC group and 17 in the UC+I group (p=0.43).


Although no difference was observed in the primary end-point of CHAT (Packer composite score), UC+I significantly reduced the number of HF patients hospitalised amongst a rural and remote cohort. These data suggest that telephone support may be an efficacious approach to improve clinical outcomes in rural and remote HF patients.

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ID Code: 55363
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
DOI: 10.1111/1755-5922.12009
ISSN: 1755-5914
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Nursing
Deposited On: 10 Dec 2012 22:53
Last Modified: 27 Nov 2013 12:39

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