Counseling intervention to improve quality of life in patients with pre-existing acute myocardial infarction (AMI) or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD): a pilot study
JPMH - Vol 59, No 2 (2018)


tertiary prevention
chronic disease
quality of life
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
acute myocardial infarction


Background.  In the light of diagnostic and therapeutic advances, patients with a previous myocardial infarction or with a diagnosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are vulnerable and need continuous monitoring over time. These pathological frameworks have a strong impact on the economy and on the status of the population and require effective and low-cost solutions.

Aims. The objective of this clinical trial is to evaluate the efficacy in the short term of a telephone counseling intervention to modify the lifestyles of these two patient populations.

Methods. In May 2015, all the patients included in the study underwent a questionnaire to evaluate their eating and smoking habits and their quality of life. After randomization in two groups, the intervention group received telephone counseling related to the correct lifestyles. The control group did not undergo any intervention. In September-October 2015, the same initial questionnaire was administered to evaluate changes in patients’ behavior.

Results.  64 patients were included in the study: 34 were assigned to the intervention group and 30 to the control group. The outcomes evaluated were: quality of life, assessment of eating habits and smoking status. After the telephone counseling the intervention group (34 persons) showed a significant improvement in the score of adherence to the Mediterranean diet (p = 0.01) and a significant reduction in the percentage of smokers (p = 0.01) compared to the population that did not receive any intervention (30 persons). On the other hand, the changes related to the quality of life questionnaire were not significant.

Conclusions. A single telephone counseling intervention is effective in modifying the lifestyles of patients with a previous myocardial infarction or diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in the short term, reducing their risk profile.


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