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Online Education Program Helps Heart Patients

AHA site boosts awareness of treatment options, survey finds

FRIDAY, May 18, 2007 (HealthDay News) -- An online heart disease-education program can help patients learn more about their treatment options, a U.S. study finds.

Researchers surveyed almost 3,000 people with one of five heart conditions: coronary artery disease (CAD), atrial fibrillation (AF), heart failure (HF), high cholesterol, or hypertension.

People who used the American Heart Association's online education program called Heart Profilers had better knowledge of treatment options and were more likely to ask their doctors about their care than patients who didn't use the online program, the study said.

"Patients who used the Heart Profilers, particularly those with HF and AF, reported a greater understanding of their heart medications than other heart patients who used other Internet resources," senior author Dr. Ileana Pina, professor of medicine at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, said in a prepared statement.

"Patient education and empowerment are key pathways in reducing complications of cardiovascular disease. The Heart Profilers tool empowers patients to take control and manage their condition by providing personalized information in lay language, so patients have a complete picture of their condition and treatments relative to their diagnosis profile," Pina said.

After filling out a questionnaire, users of Heart Profilers received a free, confidential, personalized treatment options report. Using information from peer-reviewed, scientifically-based literature, the report outlines success rates of the various treatment options, potential side effects of medications, and questions patients should ask their doctors.

The study was presented last week at the American Heart Association's Scientific Forum on Quality of Care and Outcomes Research in Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke in Washington, D.C.

More information

Here's where you can find Heart Profilers.

SOURCE: American Heart Association, news release, May 11, 2007
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