Result card

  • SOC2: What kind of changes may the use of Structured telephone support (STS) generate in the patients' social life (changes in work, travel ability, family life, patient/physician relationship)
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What kind of changes may the use of Structured telephone support (STS) generate in the patients' social life (changes in work, travel ability, family life, patient/physician relationship)

Authors: Alessandra Lo Scalzo, Ingrid Wilbacher

Internal reviewers: Pseudo253 Pseudo253, Pseudo285 Pseudo285, Pseudo294 Pseudo294, Pseudo332 Pseudo332

Acknowledgments: Maja Boban

We used the domain specific search (described above in the Domain Methodology section) including studies relevant to this outcomes but with no restriction of the study design and broader crtieria (technology, population). The results are given in a descriptive way summarising the text contents of the studies that gave information specifically on what kind of changes STS generate in the patients' social life.


Positive aspects in social life

Negative aspects in social life


Better daily routine [Martinez 2006]

Continue to function in daily life [Cui 2013]

Decreased travelling [Clark 2007]

Got the daily weight measure easily into daily routine  [Lynga 2013]

Feeling secure with being monitored  [Lynga 2013] [Bond 2014]

Having immediate self-care and clinical feedback [Seto 2012]

Social isolation no contact with health professionals (Achelrod 2014)




In the Achelroad et al’s review [Achelrod  et al. 2014] The telemedical intervention with STS was a challenge for the patients’ health literacy, especially for older ones, and was felt as social isolation due to not seeing a doctor anymore. The revieew by Martinez et al. [Martinez et al. 2006] shows that home monitoring in general, not STS, lead to a better daily routine for the HF patients thanks to continuous remote vital signs monitoring and adjustment of pharmacological treatment, dietary control, blood pressure balance.


Quantitative studies

In Cui et al.2013 the results of evaluating the Health Lines program (nurses were available on the telephone to provide suggestions about the patient’s daily management of the disease) showed improvement in self-maintenance so that patients can continue to function in daily life (which include social relationship). One study [Clark 2007] reports about the satisfaction with the interaction between the nurse and the relatives or supportive others of the patients. This wider effect of the intervention is also described in other studies [Riegel et al. 2006]. Patients were also satisfied with the improved accessibility to specialist care and decreased travelling (reducing travel to healthcare services was a very important issue for our rural patients), which was discussed to be similar in the review of Mair &Whitten P. 2000. [Clark 2007]

Qualitative studies

Seto et al study showed that some patients had access to a computer and many already owned a mobile phone, but the others not technology-accustomed reported that they would be able to get support from their family members (eg, their spouses and children). Interviewed patients thought that older and less technologically experienced patients could have trouble operating the small buttons of a mobile phone, however, none of the interviewed patients thought that they themselves would have significant problems using the equipment this showing that they rely on their familial or important others relationship [Seto 2010].

Two years later Seto (2012) published a study with qualitative interviews of patients and concluded that mobile-phone based telemonitoring enabled patients to change their lifestyle behaviors in a positive manner, reduced anxiety and improved their quality of life. The major aspects were having immediate self-care and clinical feedback, being easy and quick to use, and providing tangible benefits to the end-users (ie, the patients). [Seto 2012]

In the qualitative evaluation of Bond (2014) also most people found the telehealth system  (this was a computer equipment that automatically send data to healthprofessionals) easy to use. One group of patients were happy that the nurse could ‘keep an eye’ on them and intervene if necessary [Bond 2014].

Lo Scalzo A, Wilbacher I Result Card SOC2 In: Lo Scalzo A, Wilbacher I Social aspects In: Jefferson T, Cerbo M, Vicari N [eds.]. Structured telephone support (STS) for adult patients with chronic heart failure [Core HTA], Agenas - Agenzia nazionale per i servizi sanitari regionali ; 2015. [cited 3 December 2022]. Available from: