Telehealth interventions for the secondary prevention of coronary heart disease: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Kai Jin, Sahar Khonsari, Robyn Gallagher, Patrick Gallagher, Alexander M. Clark, Ben Freedman, Tom Briffa, Adrian Bauman, Julie Redfern, Lis Neubeck

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

148 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Coronary heart disease (CHD) is a major cause of death worldwide. Cardiac rehabilitation, an evidence-based CHD secondary prevention programme, remains underutilized. Telehealth may offer an innovative solution to overcome barriers to cardiac rehabilitation attendance. We aimed to determine whether contemporary telehealth interventions can provide effective secondary prevention as an alternative or adjunct care compared with cardiac rehabilitation and/or usual care for patients with CHD. Methods: Relevant randomized controlled trials evaluating telehealth interventions in CHD patients with at least three months’ follow-up compared with cardiac rehabilitation and/or usual care were identified by searching electronic databases. We checked reference lists, relevant conference lists, grey literature and keyword searching of the Internet. Main outcomes included all-cause mortality, rehospitalization/cardiac events and modifiable risk factors. (PROSPERO registration number 77507.) Results: In total, 32 papers reporting 30 unique trials were identified. Telehealth was not significant associated with a lower all-cause mortality than cardiac rehabilitation and/or usual care (risk ratio (RR)=0.60, 95% confidence interval (CI)=0.86 to 1.24, p=0.42). Telehealth was significantly associated with lower rehospitalization or cardiac events (RR=0.56, 95% CI=0.39 to 0.81, p<0.0001) compared with non-intervention groups. There was a significantly lower weighted mean difference (WMD) at medium to long-term follow-up than comparison groups for total cholesterol (WMD= −0.26 mmol/l, 95% CI= −0.4 to −0.11, p <0.001), low-density lipoprotein (WMD= −0.28, 95% CI = −0.50 to −0.05, p=0.02) and smoking status (RR=0.77, 95% CI =0.59 to 0.99, p=0.04]. Conclusions: Telehealth interventions with a range of delivery modes could be offered to patients who cannot attend cardiac rehabilitation, or as an adjunct to cardiac rehabilitation for effective secondary prevention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)260-271
Number of pages12
JournalEuropean Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr. 2019


  • Coronary heart disease
  • prevention
  • risk factors
  • telehealth


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