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Elderly accept phone monitoring

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Older patients with chronic heart failure find nurse-led telephone monitoring an acceptable part of their monthly routine, suggests a small Australian study.

Older patients with chronic heart failure find nurse-led telephone monitoring an acceptable part of their monthly routine, suggests a small Australian study.

Researchers recruited 79 rurally based patients with a mean age of 75, of whom 60 completed the 12-month study. Half received structured telephone support, which was coordinated by a nurse.

Patients responded at least once a month to pre-recorded questions on a computer, using their telephone keypad. The questions covered weight, signs and symptoms and reports on self-management issues such as medicine, diet and fluids.

‘Misconceptions of technophobia in the elderly were dispelled by the analysis of call patterns and clinical notes, which indicated that a very low number of participants were unable to learn how to use the technology competently,’ the authors said.

European Journal of Heart Failure (2007) 9: 1104–1111

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