Purpose: To assess whether The COACH Program could sustain its favourable impact on coronary risk factors (CRFs) and adherence to recommended medication for 18 months after the completion of The COACH Program.
Method: A clinical audit of a secondary prevention program performed in three teaching hospitals in Melbourne, Victoria for patients with coronary heart disease (CHD). The CRF targets were based on recommendations from the National Heart Foundation of Australia between 2003 and 2007.
Results: 656 patients were followed by telephone every 6 months from recruitment in hospital for 2 years. There was a substantial improvement in all CRF from discharge from hospital to the completion of active coaching 6 months after hospital discharge. There was also a significant increase in the proportion of patients taking statins and renin-angiotensin system antagonists in the same period of time. There was a small deterioration in CRF status in the 6 months after exit from The COACH Program but thereafter CRF status was maintained and substantially better than that on entry to The COACH Program. The use of the recommended cardio-protective medications remained at the levels achieved at exit from The COACH Program.
Conclusion: The changes in CRF status and adherence to cardiac medications achieved at 6 months in The COACH Program are sustained for at least 18 months after cessation of The COACH Program.