Phone counselling helps cut heart disease risk
Monday 31st January, 2011
A new study from the US has found that phone counselling can help people at high risk of heart disease by motivating them to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
The study involved 680 patients aged 35 to 74 years-old. All patients received a risk assessment and were advised by doctors on lifestyle changes. Around half of participants also received six counselling sessions by phone over a two month period. Sessions were carried out in small groups of 4-8 people with one counsellor.
After six months, both groups showed improvements to their heart disease risk, but a higher percentage in the phone counselling group kept to their diet and exercise programs. The counselling group also showed decreased blood pressure
While general advice was the same – eat more fruit and veg, cut down on salt and get some exercise – delivering and maintaining the healthy lifestyle message still requires intervention along the way and phone counselling could be an effective way to do this.
Researchers believe some people have difficulty getting to a counselling clinic so phone sessions provide a simple and cost-effective way of getting the message across.