Theory-based telehealth and patient empowerment

Popul Health Manag. 2011 Apr;14(2):87-92. doi: 10.1089/pop.2010.0013. Epub 2011 Jan 17.


Health care technology holds great potential to improve the quality of health care delivery. One effective technology is remote patient monitoring, whereby patient data, such as vital signs or symptom reports, are captured from home monitoring devices and transmitted to health care professionals for review. The use of remote patient monitoring, often referred to as telehealth, has been widely adopted by health care providers, particularly home care agencies. Most agencies have invested in telehealth to facilitate the early identification of disease exacerbation, particularly for patients with chronic diseases such as heart failure and diabetes. This technology has been successfully harnessed by agencies to reduce rehospitalization rates through remote data interpretation and the provision of timely interventions. We propose that the use of telehealth by home care agencies and other health care providers be expanded to empower patients and promote disease self-management with resultant improved health care outcomes. This article describes how remote monitoring, in combination with the application of salient adult learning and cognitive behavioral theories and applied to telehealth care delivery and practice, can promote improved patient self-efficacy with disease management. We present theories applicable for improving health-related behaviors and illustrate how theory-based practices can be implemented in the field of home care. Home care teams that deliver theory-based telehealth function as valuable partners to physicians and hospitals in an integrated health care delivery system.

MeSH terms

  • Disease Management
  • Home Care Services
  • Humans
  • Learning
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Patients / psychology*
  • Power, Psychological*
  • Self Care
  • Self Efficacy*
  • Telemedicine*
  • Telemetry
  • United States