Online education program better source of information for patients

WASHINGTON, May 11 Patients who used the American Heart Association's online heart disease education program were more aware of treatment options than other patients, researchers reported at the American Heart Association's 8th Scientific Forum on Quality of Care and Outcomes Research in Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke.

Those who used Heart ProfilersTM the American Heart Association's Internet-based education program developed with Thomson Healthcare also were more likely to ask their doctors about their care, according to survey results. Researchers examined the association between use of the Heart Profilers program and patient knowledge and behavior. Patients with coronary artery disease (CAD), atrial fibrillation (AF), heart failure (HF), high cholesterol or hypertension who registered to use Heart Profilers were invited to answer an Internet questionnaire. Their responses were compared with a randomly selected control group who had not used the Heart Profilers.

"Patients who used the Heart Profilers, particularly those with HF and AF, reported a greater understanding of their heart medications than other heart patients who used other Internet sources," said Ileana Pia, M.D., professor of medicine at Case Western Reserve University and senior author on the study.

"Patient education and empowerment are key pathways in reducing complications of cardiovascular disease," she said.

"The Heart Profilers tool empowers patients to take control and manage their condition by providing personalized information in lay language so patients have a complete picture of their condition and treatments relevant to their diagnosis profile."

Chronic disease is an ever-growing problem among patients with heart disease. Patient education is critical for improving compliance and for patients to partner with their health care providers in managing their own cardiovascular issues. The Heart Profilers provide accurate information in lay language in th

Contact: Karen Astle
American Heart Association

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