Chicago, November 17 - 20, 2002
"Late-breaking" clinical trials sessions revealed these findings in studies of chronic disease.
* Intensive telephone monitoring improves quality of care for cardiac patients: A strategy employing trained nurses to check up on chronic heart failure patients by telephone proved successful in Argentina in a randomized trial. More than 1500 patients with stable heart failure were split into groups of those who received intensive telephone monitoring and those who received usual medical care but who were checked only every 3 months.
Three trained nurses used a computer-assisted telephone system to make thousands of calls to patients being treated at 52 medical centers across the country. Those in the intensive intervention group were asked detailed questions and called more frequently if problems appeared to be developing. In the event of physician oversight, nurses also could recommend changes in diuretic dosages or office visits.
The DIAL trial showed a 20% reduction in mortality from all causes among patients who received the intensive...