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Using Telephone Support to Manage Chronic Disease

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Publication Date: June 2005

Publisher(s): California HealthCare Foundation

Author(s): John D. Piette

Topic: Health (Health services for the chronically ill)

Type: Report

Abstract:

This report, aimed at clinicians and health care managers, describes the benefits and challenges of telephone care programs. Such programs can monitor patients' status between visits; deliver patient education or other counseling; send appointment reminders; and facilitate peer support and referrals for coping with illness. The report reviews research findings on the clinical effectiveness as well as cost-effectiveness of telephone care programs. While the picture is not yet complete, there is some evidence that telephone-based patient education can improve chronic disease outcomes and help patients become more effective advocates for their own care. Research findings on cost-effectiveness are less conclusive, according to the report.