Better in a Heartbeat? How Interdisciplinary Management of Disease Pays Off

    • January 1, 1998

From 1996 to 1997, researchers at Rush Prudential HMO in Chicago examined an interdisciplinary approach to the management of chronic disease that involved diet, exercise, smoking cessation and social interactions.

The study examined women diagnosed with cardiovascular disease (CVD), with a mean age of 75 years, who had received angioplasty in the previous two years and who had positive stress tests.

The project was part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Chronic Care Initiatives in HMOs national program.

Key Findings

  • The percentage of patients who met the screening criteria for anxiety on the Framingham Anxiety Score fell from 59 to 18 percent.

  • The percentage of patients who had elevated cholesterol levels using cholesterol-lowering agents increased from 35 to 65 percent.

  • There was a slight reduction in both mean total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol among participating patients.

  • There were fewer ambulatory visits during the intervention period than during the pre-intervention period.