Effects of a Tablet Computer on Self-care, Quality of Life, and Knowledge: A Randomized Clinical Trial

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Abstract

Background:

Conflicting results have been reported for telemonitoring in patients with heart failure (HF). We wanted to evaluate whether patients using a tablet computer aimed at improving self-care behavior could do so and also whether it affects quality of life and health-related quality of life, disease knowledge, and in-hospital days.

Methods and Results:

Patients with HF (n = 82) were randomized to the intervention group (IG) with a tablet computer (giving information and advice) or the control group (CG) that was subject to standard care. Study was completed by 72 patients, with a mean (SD) age of 75 (8) years, 68% male, and 74% NYHA class III. Self-care behavior measured with the 9-item European Heart Failure Self-Care Behaviour Scale, health related quality of life measured by the Kansas City Cardiomyopathy Questionnaire, quality of life measured by the Swedish version of the Health Survey, knowledge measured by the Dutch Heart Failure Knowledge Scale, days in hospital, and adherence were analyzed. The IG displayed better 9-item European Heart Failure Self-Care Behaviour Scale score (median IG, 16.5 [interquartile range {IQR}, 12–22], vs median CG, 23.5 [IQR, 18.8–30.0]; P < .05) and improved health related quality of life (median IG, 72.7 [IQR, 50.8–87.9], vs median CG, 51.8 [IQR, 40.9–62.8]; P < .05). A significant difference in knowledge was seen, with an 11% increase in IG and a 1% decrease in CG (P < .05), as well as a reduction in hospital days in IG by 2.7 days per patient (relative risk, 0.72; 95% confidence interval, 0.61–0.84; P < .05).

Conclusion:

The tablet computer significantly improved self-care behavior and health related quality of life, increased HF knowledge, and reduced hospital days.

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