High tech to prevent further heart disease
Thanks to an innovative new project being developed by Central Queensland University with funding from MBF Foundation, heart surgery patients around the country could soon have access to rehabilitation services in the comfort of their own home rather than having to travel to special outpatient clinics.
Researchers at the University's Rockhampton campus are developing an on-line outpatient rehabilitation service for people who have had heart surgery to see if it improves health outcomes by reducing the risk of heart problems recurring.
Study leader, Professor Kerry Mummery, said post-surgery monitoring and counselling is very important to ensure that patients who have undergone heart operations change the lifestyle factors that contributed to their illness, such as too little physical activity and poor diet.
"Currently patients have to make regular follow up visits to special hospital outpatient facilities or private clinics for these services," said Professor Mummery. "Those who live in the bush or outlying areas throughout Queensland can't make it because they live too far away. Others choose not to go or drop out after one or two visits."
Researchers believe that delivering rehabilitation services directly to patients in an easy-to-use interactive format will overcome many of the barriers.
Chair of MBF Foundation's Steering Committee, Dr Christine Bennett, said that this easy access, high quality rehabilitation service can deliver better community health outcomes by guiding patients to make healthy and positive lifestyle changes that will contribute to their recovery and ongoing wellbeing.