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Heart Lung. 2003 Jul-Aug;32(4):226-33.

Pilot study of a Web-based compliance monitoring device for patients with congestive heart failure.

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College of Nursing, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan 48202, USA.



Web-based home care monitoring systems can assess medication compliance, health status, quality of life, and physiologic parameters. They may help overcome some of the limitations associated with current congestive heart failure management models.


This pilot study compared the effects of a self-care and medication compliance device, linked to a Web-based monitoring system, to the effects of usual care alone on compliance with recommended self-care behaviors; medication taking; quality of life; distance walked during a 6-minute walk test; and New York Heart Association Functional Class. We also assessed patient experiences living with the compliance device.


We enrolled 18 patients with Functional Class II-III congestive heart failure in an urban VA Medical Center. The patients were randomized into 2 groups. Group A received usual care plus the compliance device. Group B (controls) received usual care only. Data were collected using the compliance device, the Heart Failure Self-Care Behavior Scale, pill counts, 6-minute walk test, and the Minnesota Living with Heart Failure Questionnaire at baseline and at 3 months follow-up.


At baseline and at 3 months, there were no differences between the compliance device group and the usual care group in self-care behaviors, pill counts, 6-minute walk-test distance, or Functional Class. However, quality of life improved significantly from baseline to 3-month follow-up (ANOVA, P =.006). This difference was due to an improvement in quality of life for the monitor group (P =.002) but not the usual care only group (P =.113). Patients in the compliance device group had a 94% medication compliance rate, 81% compliance with daily blood pressure monitoring, and 85% compliance with daily weight monitoring as compared to 51% for blood pressure monitoring and 79% for weight monitoring in the usual care group (P = NS).


These are promising pilot results that, if replicated in a larger sample, may significantly improve care and outcomes for patients with heart failure.

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