-- Robert Preidt
THURSDAY, May 12 (HealthDay News) -- Heart failure patients who
are older than 65 and have a high level of health literacy are more
likely to continue using telemonitoring technology that tracks
their condition than younger people with low health literacy, a new
Health literacy refers to the ability to read, understand and
use health care information. Telemonitoring systems, which help
doctors monitor patients outside of office visits, are seen as a
way to improve care for heart failure patients, but results so far
have been mixed.
The new study shows that individual characteristics play a major
role in patients' interest and success in using telemonitoring
systems -- knowledge that could help improve the design of such
systems and increase patient participation, the researchers
Their six-month study included 826 people, 19 to 90 years old,
who were encouraged to used a telephone system to enter daily
information on their symptoms and weight using the phone's
About 86 percent of the participants actually started using the
system. People younger than 65 and those who said they were the
most satisfied with their care were most likely to start using it,
according to the study.
After one week, 90 percent of those who started using the system
were inputting their weight and symptom data at least three days a
week. By the end of the study, 55 percent had continued to input
data three days a week.
People younger than 65 and those with lower levels of health
literacy were less likely to have stuck with the program for six
months, the researchers found.
The findings were to be presented Thursday at an American Heart
Association conference in Washington, D.C. Experts note that
research presented at meetings should be considered preliminary
because it has not been subjected to the rigorous scrutiny given to
research published in medical journals.
The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has more
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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