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BMJ Open. 2012; 2(5): e001346.
Published online Sep 25, 2012. doi:  10.1136/bmjopen-2012-001346
PMCID: PMC3467609
Effectiveness of telemedicine and distance learning applications for patients with chronic heart failure. A protocol for prospective parallel group non-randomised open label study
Giedrius Vanagas,1 Jelena Umbrasienė,1 Rimvydas Šlapikas,1,2 and ICT for Health project workgroup
1Department of Preventive Medicine, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Kaunas, Lithuania
2Department of Cardiology, Hospital of Lithuanian University of Health Sciences “Kauno Klinikos”, Kaunas, Lithuania
Correspondence to Professor Giedrius Vanagas; giedrius.vanagas/at/lsmuni.lt
Received April 19, 2012; Accepted August 28, 2012.
Abstract
Introduction
Chronic heart failure in Baltic Sea Region is responsible for more hospitalisations than all forms of cancer combined and is one of the leading causes of hospitalisations in elderly patients. Frequent hospitalisations, along with other direct and indirect costs, place financial burden on healthcare systems. We aim to test the hypothesis that telemedicine and distance learning applications is superior to the current standard of home care.
Methods and analysis
Prospective parallel group non-randomised open label study in patients with New York Heart Association (NYHA) II–III chronic heart failure will be carried out in six Baltic Sea Region countries. The study is organised into two 6-month follow-up periods. The first 6-month period is based on active implementation of tele-education and/or telemedicine for patients in two groups (active run period) and one standard care group (passive run period). The second 6-month period of observation will be based on standard care model (passive run period) to all three groups. Our proposed practice change is based on translational research with empirically supported interventions brought to practice and aims to find the home care model that is most effective to patient needs.
Ethics and dissemination
This study has been approved by National Bioethics Committee (2011-03-07; Registration No: BE-2-11).
Trial Registration
This study has been registered in Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ANZCTR) with registration number ACTRN12611000834954.
Keywords: Preventive Medicine, Medical Education & Training
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