Background: Frequent rehospitalisations and poorer survival chances in heart failure (HF) patients may partly be explained by poor medication adherence. There are multiple medication-related reasons for suboptimal adherence, but psychological reasons may also be important. A novel TELEmonitoring device may improve MEDication adherence in HF patients (TELEMED-HF). TELEMED-HF is a randomized, controlled clinical intervention trial designed to examine (1) the efficacy and cost-efficiency of an electronic medication adherence support system in improving and monitoring HF patients' medication adherence; (2) the effect of medication adherence on hospitalizations and health care consumption; as well as on (3) clinical characteristics, and Quality of Life (QoL); and (4) clinical, sociodemographic, and psychological determinants of medication adherence.
Methods/design: Consecutive patients with chronic, systolic HF presenting to the outpatient clinic of the TweeSteden Hospital, The Netherlands, will be approached for study participation and randomly assigned (1:1) following blocked randomization procedures to the intervention (n = 200) or usual care arm (n = 200). Patients in the intervention arm use the medication support device for six months in addition to usual care. Post-intervention, patients return to usual care only and all patients participate in four follow-up occasions over 12 months. Primary endpoints comprise objective and subjective medication adherence, healthcare consumption, number of hospitalizations, and cost-effectiveness. Secondary endpoints include disease severity, physical functioning, and QoL.
Discussion: The TELEMED-HF study will provide us a comprehensive understanding of medication adherence in HF patients, and will show whether telemonitoring is effective and cost-efficient in improving adherence and preventing hospitalization in HF patients.
Trial registration number: NCT01347528.