Research at Cardiac eHealth focuses on improving people’s quality of life and health through behavioural interventions delivered using the Internet, wireless, and mobile devices.
A Virtual Community Promoting Health Literacy, Self-Care, and Peer Support for Chronic Heart Failure: vCHAT-CHF Trial
This 2-year pilot trial is to evaluate the clinical benefit and usability of a new program of digital counselling and social network support (ODYSSEE-vCHAT). We are randomly assigning patients with chronic heart failure (CHF) to vCHAT-HF or a control group that receives conventional CHF self-care education through our website. The vCHAT-HF group will have unlimited home access to CHF self-care chat rooms, and weekly online discussions held by our team of health professionals and patient representatives. Each presentation will have a 20-minute presentation section, and the remainder of the 60-minute session is reserved for a Q&A period or free discussion. We hypothesize that, over 2-years, vCHAT will reduce the combined risk of death, Emergency Department visits, and hospitalization due to CHF. We also hypothesize that the vCHAT group will spend more time engaged with the digital self-care resources and that they will report improved quality of life.
A Virtual Community Promoting Health Literacy, Self-Care, and Peer Support (vCHAT) Mental Health COVID-19 Study
This 12-month study will evaluate the clinical benefit of vCHAT (a program of social network support and automated digital counselling on ODYSSEE) to promote self-care and quality of life for outpatients with chronic kidney disease or chronic heart failure. vCHAT provides access by internet or smart phone to chat rooms and 60-minute weekly webcast presentations by healthcare professionals and patient representatives, with interactive group discussion. The webcasts are supported by interactive digital resources on our ODYSSEE platform, as developed in our previous trials. This automated digital counselling material is organized by clinical themes such as living well in the age of COVID-19. We hypothesize that over 10 months, vCHAT will improve mental health and quality of life, while decreasing loneliness and perceived social isolation. Analyses of vCHAT will also provide novel insight into key program features of social network support or automated digital counselling that predict positive mental health.