QCOR: Telemonitoring Efficiency Tied to Age, Literacy

Adherence to telemonitoring decreased from 90 percent in first week to 55 percent by week 26

FRIDAY, May 13 (HealthDay News) -- Heart failure patients younger than 65 years and those who are satisfied with their care are more likely to initiate telemonitoring (TM) technology, but adherence is lower in younger patients and in those with low health literacy, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association's Quality of Care and Outcomes Research in Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke 2011 Scientific Sessions, held from May 12 to 14 in Washington, D.C.

Jennifer A. Mattera, M.P.H., from Yale University Cardiology in New Haven, Conn., and colleagues assessed the characteristics of 826 patients (average age, 61.1 years) with heart failure who were initiating the use of TM, were adhering to it daily for over six months, and were enrolled in the TM arm of the Tele-heart failure multicenter trial. Use of the TM system involved reporting symptoms and weight daily for six months. The number of weeks that patients used TM for at least three days a week was calculated as the adherence rate, and factors associated with its use were identified.

The investigators found that 14 percent of patients (119) did not initiate TM use, but 707 patients did. Patients younger than 65 years and those who were more satisfied with care were more likely to initiate TM. In the first week, the average adherence was 90 percent, and it decreased to 55 percent in week 26. Adherence was lower in younger patients and those with lower health literacy.

"Age, satisfaction with care, and health literacy were associated with utilization of a TM system for the management of heart failure," the authors write.

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