Translating Research: Patient Decision Support/Coaching


The purpose of the study was to test a telephone counseling intervention for patients after leaving the hospital for a heart attack to use medication, exercise, healthy eating and smoking cessation to prevent further heart attacks.

Study Type

  • Study Type: Interventional
  • Study Design
    • Allocation: Randomized
    • Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
    • Primary Purpose: Prevention
    • Masking: None (Open Label)

Detailed Description

BACKGROUND: Efficacy of brief individual telephone coaching for secondary prevention behavior has been shown. However, the independent contribution of personal counseling to system-level intervention is untested. We tested a multiple-risk factor brief counseling intervention in acute coronary syndrome (ACS) following hospital-based quality improvement (QI) program.

METHODS: Patient-level randomized trial of hospital quality improvement (QI-only) versus quality improvement plus brief telephone coaching in the first three months post-hospitalization (QI-plus) for patients hospitalized for ACS. Data collection: medical record review, state vital records, and post-hospital surveys (baseline, 3 and 8 months post hospitalization). Main outcomes: secondary prevention behaviors, physical functioning, and quality of life.

RESULTS: QI-plus patients reported statistically significant independent improvements in physical activity (OR = 1.62; p = .01) during the intervention, and were more likely to participate in formal cardiac rehabilitation (OR = 2.51; p = .02). Smoking cessation was not statistically different (OR = 1.31; p = .68); functional status and quality of life were not different at 8 months. Medication use was high in QI and QI-plus groups, and improved over prior cohorts in the same hospitals.

CONCLUSION: QI improved physician and patient adherence to guidelines and improved medical therapy in-hospital continued in the outpatient setting. Brief telephone coaching was modestly effective in accomplishing short-term, but not long-term life-style behavior change. Patient life-style behavior change appears to require sustained intervention. QI-based improvement in medication use improves survival and appears to be the most efficient route to improved outcomes for all patients.


  • Behavioral: Educational/Counseling/Training

Clinical Trial Outcome Measures

Primary Measures

  • Secondary prevention behaviors (smoking, exercise)
  • Physical functioning (Activity Status Index)
  • Quality of life (Euroqol EQ5D)

Secondary Measures

  • Medication use

Participating in This Clinical Trial

Inclusion Criteria

1. age of 21 years or older,

2. a documented serum Troponin I level of greater than, or equal to the upper limits of normal in each hospital, and

3. a working diagnosis of ACS in the medical record.

Exclusion Criteria

1. inability to speak English or to complete the enrollment interview, and

2. discharge to a non-home setting.

Gender Eligibility: All

Minimum Age: 19 Years

Maximum Age: N/A

Are Healthy Volunteers Accepted: No

Investigator Details

  • Lead Sponsor
    • Michigan State University
  • Overall Official(s)
    • Margaret M Holmes-Rovner, PhD, Principal Investigator, Michigan State University

Citations Reporting on Results

Yang Z, Olomu A, Corser W, Rovner DR, Holmes-Rovner M. Outpatient medication use and health outcomes in post-acute coronary syndrome patients. Am J Manag Care. 2006 Oct;12(10):581-7.

Stommel M, Olomu A, Holmes-Rovner M, Corser W, Gardiner JC. Changes in practice patterns affecting in-hospital and post-discharge survival among ACS patients. BMC Health Serv Res. 2006 Oct 24;6:140.

Dunn SL, Corser W, Stommel M, Holmes-Rovner M. Hopelessness and depression in the early recovery period after hospitalization for acute coronary syndrome. J Cardiopulm Rehabil. 2006 May-Jun;26(3):152-9.

Holtrop JS, Corser W, Jones G, Brooks G, Holmes-Rovner M, Stommel M. Health behavior goals of cardiac patients after hospitalization. Am J Health Behav. 2006 Jul-Aug;30(4):387-99.

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