Impact of Tele-Coaching During the COVID-19 Pandemic on Risk-Reduction Behavior of Patients with Heart Failure

Katharina Knoll, Sarah M. Leiter, Stefanie Rosner, Teresa Trenkwalder, Amadea Erben, Christian Kloss, Patrick Bregenhorn, Heribert Schunkert, Wibke Reinhard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Introduction: Our study assessed the effectiveness of tele-coaching over written information in educating patients with chronic heart failure (CHF) at high risk of hospitalization about corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19). We analyzed the impact on number of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections and self-reported behavior change. Methods: In April 2020, a tele-coaching module and written summary about COVID-19, risk-reduction measures for prevention of COVID-19, and appropriate consultation of medical attention during the pandemic were integrated into an established tele-coaching program. Three hundred seventy-eight patients who had received both tele-coaching and written information 3 weeks earlier were interviewed using a structured questionnaire and compared with 1,748 patients who had only received written information at this point. Results: Tele-coaching had no short-term effect on numbers of SARS-CoV-2 infections. However, patients receiving tele-coaching reported significantly more behavioral changes, including increased room ventilation (88% vs. 78%, p < 0.0001), surface cleaning (80% vs. 70%, p = 0.0006), wearing of face masks (59% vs. 51%, p = 0.013), and reduced usage of public transport (77% vs. 68%, p = 0.0003), despite no observed difference in recall about risk-reduction measures. Moreover, tele-coaching improved patients' knowledge about how to seek medical help in an emergency (46% vs. 36%, p = 0.0006), with a significant reduction in self-reported doctors' appointments (304 vs. 413 per 1,000 patients, p = 0.002) and hospital visits (50 vs. 87 per 1,000, p = 0.033) during the first peak of the pandemic. Conclusion: In a population of patients with CHF at high risk of hospitalization, COVID-19-specific tele-coaching effectively supported behavioral changes and significantly reduced face-to-face medical contacts in a short-term follow-up period.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)823-831
Number of pages9
JournalTelemedicine Journal and e-Health
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2022


  • COVID-19
  • chronic heart failure
  • tele-coaching
  • tele-nursing
  • telemedicine


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