Dr. Patrick Doherty,
Effect of comprehensive cardiac telerehabilitation on one-year cardiovascular rehospitalization rate, medical costs and quality of life: A cost-effectiveness analysisInes Frederix, Dominique Hansen, Karin Coninx, Pieter Vandervoort, Dominique Vandijck, Niel Hens, Emeline Van Craenenbroeck, Niels Van Driessche, Paul DendaleEuropean Journal of Preventive Cardiology August 19, doi: 10.1177/2047487315602257
The study by Frederix et al. 2015 makes a significant contribution to the debate about how to deliver sustained benefit following cardiac rehabilitation (CR). The study was delivered based on a 12 months trial where all patients underwent 12 weeks of conventional CR. The only difference being the introduction of telerehabilitation in the intervention group after 12 weeks of CR. The results of the cost effectiveness analysis and rate of readmissions show a positive effect in favour of the addition of telerehabilitation. This study clearly shows that if patients do nothing following CR they will derive very little long-term benefit which many would argue is a waste of scarce financial resources.
Telerehabilitation, added to conventional CR, yields much greater benefits which can be seen as cost neutral if the savings from reduced readmissions are factored into the model of care. Rehabilitation programmes and health commissioners should look for initiatives like this to optimise outcomes for patients and reduce the burden of unnecessary healthcare utilisation on society.
A randomized controlled trial has been performed by the same team (I. Frederik et al.) on the medium-term effectiveness of a comprehensive internet-based and patient specific telerehabilitation program. The results of this trial are published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research.
Read Romualdo Belardinelli’s comment “The benefits of cardiac telerehabilitation: Functional capacity and quality of life”.
The content of this article reflects the personal opinion of the author/s and is not necessarily the official position of the European Society of Cardiology
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