Using Telephone Support to Manage Chronic Disease

By John Piette

This is archived content; for historical reference only.

This report, aimed at clinicians and health care managers, describes the benefits and challenges of telephone care programs. Such programs can monitor patients’ status between visits; deliver patient education or other counseling; send appointment reminders; and facilitate peer support and referrals for coping with illness.

The report reviews research findings on the clinical effectiveness as well as cost-effectiveness of telephone care programs. While the picture is not yet complete, there is some evidence that telephone-based patient education can improve chronic disease outcomes and help patients become more effective advocates for their own care. Research findings on cost-effectiveness are less conclusive, according to the report.

Specifically, the report addresses:

  • How telephone care services can contribute to improved patient care;
  • Characteristics of effective programs;
  • Which patients are most likely to benefit from telephone care;
  • How to integrate telephone care services into systems of care; and
  • How to evaluate programs and identify areas for improvement.

The full report is available under Document Downloads.