Chulalongkorn Medical Journal


Background: Patients with coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) exhibit a decrease in functional status during the postoperative period. The rehospitalization rate within the first month is 8.0% - 21.0%. Therefore, during the first month after discharge, most patients require help from health care teams. Telehealth programs promote health monitoring and share health information remotely during transitional stages, encouraging awareness, increasing cardiac rehabilitation and physical function. As a result, the number of rehospitalizations is also reduced. Objectives: This quasi-experimental research aimed to study the effects of a telehealth program on the functional status and rehospitalization rates of patients with CABG. Methods: Thirty-two patients who had undergone CABG surgery at two university hospitals in Bangkok were randomly assigned to the telehealth program, and 32 patients received the usual care. Data were collected using the Demographic Data, Functional Status and Rehospitalization questionnaires. Results: The results showed that the functional status of the telehealth group was significantly higher than that of the control group at 2 weeks and 4 weeks (P = 0.03 and 0.007, respectively). In addition, the rate of rehospitalization within 28 days was significantly lower in the telehealth group than in the control group (P = 0.026). Moreover, the rehospitalization and revisitation rates in the telehealth group were significantly less than those in the control group (P = 0.048). Conclusions: The telehealth program effectively increases patients’ functional status and reduces rehospitalization rates. It may be reasonable to consider implementing a telehealth program using a multidisciplinary team after discharge from the hospital to improve the recovery process.



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