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A pilot test of videoconferencing to improve access to a stroke risk-reduction programme for Veterans.

Anderson J, Godwin KM, Petersen NJ, Willson P, Kent TA. A pilot test of videoconferencing to improve access to a stroke risk-reduction programme for Veterans. Journal of telemedicine and telecare. 2013 Apr 1; 19(3):153-159.

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We conducted a pilot study to determine the feasibility of using videoconferencing for a programme of self-management to prevent stroke (V-STOP). A total of 37 Veterans with a history of stroke, or with multiple risk factors for stroke, were enrolled in the study from two rural sites. The V-STOP intervention consisted of 6 weekly sessions of self-management classes and clinic visits delivered via videoconferencing, with one or two individual telephone counselling sessions. Participants'' mean satisfaction scores were 4.7 out of 5, indicating very high approval of the programme. Attendance was 87%, almost twice as high as at an equivalent in-person programme. Access was improved as participants saved, on average, 160 km by travelling to a community centre instead of the main Veterans Administration facility. Stroke risk knowledge and self-management behaviours such as communication with healthcare providers significantly improved from baseline. Overall, videoconferencing is feasible for delivering self-management classes and clinic visits and the V-STOP programme shows promise as a method for delivery of self-management education and preventive care services to reduce stroke risk.

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