Telerehab III – Medium-Term Effectiveness of a Comprehensive Internet-Based and Patient-Specific Telerehabilitation Program With Text Messaging Support for Cardiac Patients

Problem statement – Telerehabilitation has been proposed as an adjunct/alternative to standard center-based cardiac rehabilitation. Two recent systematic reviews showed non-inferiority and/or superiority of this remote approach for cardiac rehabilitation. However, these trials focused only on one core component of cardiac rehabilitation and telemonitoring, rather than implementing a more comprehensive approach.

Project Goal –  The aim of Telerehab III is to investigate the long-term effectiveness of the addition of a patient-tailored, internet-based telerehabilitation program implementing multiple cardiac rehabilitation core components and using both telemonitoring and telecoaching strategies to standard cardiac rehabilitation. Telerehab III will be one of the first studies to examine the added value of a more comprehensive cardiac telerehabilitation program, focusing on multiple cardiac rehabilitation core components. It has the potential to augment current standard center-based cardiac rehabilitation practices and to be used as a model for other disease prevention programs.

Study design – In this prospective, multi-center randomized, controlled trial 140 patients with coronary artery disease and/or chronic heart failure patients will be recruited between February 2013 and February 2015. Patients will be randomized 1:1 to an intervention group (receiving an internet-based telerehabilitation program in addition to standard cardiac rehabilitation) or to standard cardiac rehabilitation alone. The mean follow-up is at least 6 months. The primary endpoint is peak oxygen consumption (VO2 peak). Secondary endpoints include measured and self-reported daily physical activity, cardiovascular risk factor control, health-related quality of life, days lost due to (non)cardiovascular rehospitalizations and time to first (non)cardiovascular rehospitalization. A clinical event committee blinded to treatment allocation assesses causes of rehospitalizations.

Keywords – Telerehabilitation, mHealth, effectiveness, cardiac patients, telemedicine

(*) The Telerehab III trial was funded by a research grant from Flanders Care and from the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO)
jessa  ZOL   St Fransiscus Ziekenhuis   Yorbody   poskleur_300dpi_2cm   KULeuven  FlandersCare  FWO