The effect of telehomecare on heart failure self care
Heart failure (HF) afflicts nearly 6 million Americans and the prevalence continues to rise as the population ages. Hospital use for HF is high and about half of readmissions are believed to be preventable. Promoting self care through telehomecare is an emerging strategy for managing chronic illness. Hospitalized heart failure patients were randomly assigned at discharge to receive usual home care or telehomecare, nurse visits and daily use of monitoring devices such as blood pressure cuffs, scales, glucometers, and pulse oximetry to monitor their symptoms. Nurses at the home care agency monitored the results and interacted with patients as needed to teach self care and treat symptoms. Self care was measured at baseline, 60, 120, and 180 days using the Self Care Heart Failure Index. Despite improving the overall readmission rate, findings suggest telehomecare had no significant effect on self care over usual home care.