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Randomised controlled trial of a secondary prevention program for myocardial infarction patients ('ProActive Heart'): study protocol

Anna L Hawkes123*, John Atherton45, C Barr Taylor6, Paul Scuffham7, Kathy Eadie8, Nancy Houston Miller9 and Brian Oldenburg8

Author Affiliations

1 Viertel Centre for Research in Cancer Control, Cancer Council Queensland, Brisbane, QLD, Australia

2 Griffith Psychological Health Research Centre, Griffith University, Brisbane, QLD, Australia

3 School of Public Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, James Cook University, Douglas, QLD, Australia

4 Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, Queensland Health, Brisbane, QLD, Australia

5 Department of Medicine, University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD, Australia

6 Department of Psychology, Stanford University, Palo Alto, California, USA

7 School of Medicine, Griffith University, Meadowbrook, QLD, Australia

8 School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria, Australia

9 Stanford Cardiac Rehabilitation Program, Stanford University, Palo Alto, California, USA

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BMC Cardiovascular Disorders 2009, 9:16  doi:10.1186/1471-2261-9-16

Published: 9 May 2009



Coronary heart disease (CHD) is a significant cause of health and economic burden. Secondary prevention programs play a pivotal role in the treatment and management of those affected by CHD although participation rates are poor due to patient, provider, health system and societal-level barriers. As such, there is a need to develop innovative secondary prevention programs to address the treatment gap. Telephone-delivered care is convenient, flexible and has been shown to improve behavioural and clinical outcomes following myocardial infarction (MI). This paper presents the design of a randomised controlled trial to evaluate the efficacy of a six-month telephone-delivered secondary prevention program for MI patients (ProActive Heart).


550 adult MI patients have been recruited over a 14 month period (December 2007 to January 2009) through two Brisbane metropolitan hospitals, and randomised to an intervention or control group (n = 225 per group). The intervention commences within two weeks of hospital discharge delivered by study-trained health professionals ('health coaches') during up to 10 × 30 minute scripted telephone health coaching sessions. Participants also receive a ProActive Heart handbook and an educational resource to use during the health coaching sessions. The intervention focuses on appropriate modification of CHD risk factors, compliance with pharmacological management, and management of psychosocial issues. Data collection occurs at baseline or prior to commencement of the intervention (Time 1), six months follow-up or the completion of the intervention (Time 2), and at 12 months follow-up for longer term outcomes (Time 3). Primary outcome measures include quality of life (Short Form-36) and physical activity (Active Australia Survey). A cost-effective analysis of the costs and outcomes for patients in the intervention and control groups is being conducted from the perspective of health care costs to the government.


The results of this study will provide valuable new information about an innovative telephone-delivered cost-effective secondary prevention program for MI patients.

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