Deakin University
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Smartphone cardiac rehabilitation, assisted self-management versus usual care: protocol for a multicenter randomized controlled trial to compare effects and costs among people with coronary heart disease

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posted on 2020-01-01, 00:00 authored by Jonathan RawstornJonathan Rawstorn, Kylie BallKylie Ball, B Oldenburg, C K Chow, Sarah McNaughtonSarah McNaughton, Karen Lamb, Lan GaoLan Gao, Marj MoodieMarj Moodie, John Amerena, V Nadurata, C Neil, S Cameron, Ralph MaddisonRalph Maddison
Alternative evidence-based cardiac rehabilitation (CR) delivery models that overcome significant barriers to access and delivery are needed to address persistent low utilization. Models utilizing contemporary digital technologies could significantly improve reach and fidelity as complementary alternatives to traditional center-based programs.
The aim of this study is to compare the effects and costs of the innovative Smartphone Cardiac Rehabilitation, Assisted self-Management (SCRAM) intervention with usual care CR.
In this investigator-, assessor-, and statistician-blinded parallel 2-arm randomized controlled trial, 220 adults (18+ years) with coronary heart disease are being recruited from 3 hospitals in metropolitan and regional Victoria, Australia. Participants are randomized (1:1) to receive advice to engage with usual care CR or the SCRAM intervention. SCRAM is a 24-week dual-phase intervention that includes 12 weeks of real-time remote exercise supervision and coaching from exercise physiologists, which is followed by 12 weeks of data-driven nonreal-time remote coaching via telephone. Both intervention phases include evidence- and theory-based multifactorial behavior change support delivered via smartphone push notifications. Outcomes assessed at baseline, 12 weeks, and 24 weeks include maximal aerobic exercise capacity (primary outcome at 24 weeks), modifiable cardiovascular risk factors, exercise adherence, secondary prevention self-management behaviors, health-related quality of life, and adverse events. Economic and process evaluations will determine cost-effectiveness and participant perceptions of the treatment arms, respectively.
The trial was funded in November 2017 and received ethical approval in June 2018. Recruitment began in November 2018. As of September 2019, 54 participants have been randomized into the trial.
The innovative multiphase SCRAM intervention delivers real-time remote exercise supervision and evidence-based self-management behavioral support to participants, regardless of their geographic proximity to traditional center-based CR facilities. Our trial will provide unique and valuable information about effects of SCRAM on outcomes associated with cardiac and all-cause mortality, as well as acceptability and cost-effectiveness. These findings will be important to inform health care providers about the potential for innovative program delivery models, such as SCRAM, to be implemented at scale, as a complement to existing CR programs. The inclusion of a cohort comprising metropolitan-, regional-, and rural-dwelling participants will help to understand the role of this delivery model across health care contexts with diverse needs.
Trial Registration
Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ACTRN): 12618001458224;
International Registered Report Identifier (IRRID) DERR1-10.2196/15022



JMIR Research Protocols





Article number

ARTN e15022


JMIR Publications


Toronto, Ont.







Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal