Perspectives on Participation in a Feasibility Study on Exercise-Based Cardiac Telerehabilitation After Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation: Qualitative Interview Study Among Patients and Health Professionals

JMIR Form Res. 2022 Jun 20;6(6):e35365. doi: 10.2196/35365.


BACKGROUND: Aortic valve stenosis affects approximately half of people aged ≥85 years, and the recommended surgical treatment for older patients is transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI). Despite strong evidence for its advantages, low attendance rate in cardiac rehabilitation is observed among patients after TAVI. Cardiac telerehabilitation (CTR) has proven comparable with center-based rehabilitation; however, no study has investigated CTR targeting patients after TAVI. On the basis of participatory design, an exercise-based CTR program (TeleTAVI) was developed, which included a web-based session with a cardiac nurse, a tablet containing an informative website, an activity tracker, and supervised home-based exercise sessions that follow the national recommendations for cardiac rehabilitation.

OBJECTIVE: This study aims to explore patients’ and health professionals’ experiences with using health technologies and participating in the exercise-based CTR program, TeleTAVI.

METHODS: This study is a part of a feasibility study and will only report patients’ and health professionals’ experiences of being a part of TeleTAVI. A total of 11 qualitative interviews were conducted using a semistructured interview guide (n=7, 64% patients and n=4, 36% health professionals). Patient interviews were conducted after 8 weeks of participation in TeleTAVI, and interviews with health professionals were conducted after the end of the program. The analysis was conducted as inductive content analysis to create a condensed meaning presented as themes.

RESULTS: Reticence toward using the website was evident with reduced curiosity to explore it, and reduced benefit from using the activity tracker was observed, as the patients’ technical competencies were challenged. This was also found when using the tablet for web-based training sessions, leading to patients feeling worried before the training, as they anticipated technical problems. Disadvantages of the TeleTAVI program were technical problems and inability to use hands-on guidance with the patients. However, both physiotherapists and patients reported a feeling of improvement in patients’ physical fitness. The home training created a feeling of safety, supported adherence, and made individualization possible, which the patients valued. A good relationship and continuity in the contact with health professionals seemed very important for the patients and affected their positive attitude toward the program.

CONCLUSIONS: The home-based nature of the TeleTAVI program seems to provide the opportunity to support individualization, autonomy, independence, and adherence to physical training in addition to improvement in physical capability in older patients. Despite technological challenges, basing the relationship between the health professionals and patients on continuity may be beneficial for patients. Prehabilitation may also be considered, as it may create familiarity toward technology and adherence to the training.

PMID:35723925 | DOI:10.2196/35365

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