E-counselling can lower blood pressure levels, improve lifestyle and enhance quality of life, shows study.
The study evaluated 387 people ranging in age from 45 to 74, over a four-month period. All had been diagnosed with high blood pressure and 72 per cent were taking one or more blood pressure medications.
One group was sent a standard e-newsletter from the Heart and Stroke Foundation, containing heart health information and general tips to manage their health. The second group received eight emails over four months that provided both educational information as well as motivational messages.
Participants in the study who received these emails recorded approximately double the amount of decrease in blood pressure, compared to subjects who received just the newsletter, said Heart and Stroke Foundation researcher Dr. Robert Nolan.
In, addition, the researchers found that e-counselling motivates people to stay on track with diet and exercise plans, which leads to lower blood pressure.
The moods of people coping with high blood pressure also improved while they were participating in the e-counselling program.
"We found the e-counselling was associated with an improvement in both exercise and diet behaviour. The motivational component was therapeutic," said Dr. Nolan.
"E-tools to promote healthy lifestyles are becoming an established success - it's the way of the future," he added.
The study was presented at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress.