Methods: This study used experimental design with pretest, post-test. According to pretest of depression scores, we stratified and randomly assigned participants to the experimental group and control group. The heart transplant recipients in experimental group (n=31) received Tele-Case-Management Program intervention, and the recipients in control group (n=30) received the usual care. Each study participants was evaluated by Resilience Scale, Symptom Frequency and Symptom Distress Scale, Beck Depression Inventory-II Scale, and Fatigue Scale at pre- intervention (pre-test), and one-month and three-month follow-up. This study used independent t-test and chi-square test to evaluate the homogeneity of the characteristics between the two groups. The generalized estimating equation (GEE) was used to examine the effects of the Tele-Case-Management Program on the improvements of resilience, symptom frequency and distress, depressive and fatigue symptoms.
Results: The majority of participants were male (78.7%), with a mean age of 53.2 ± 12.28 years, and mean ejection fraction (EF) after heart transplant of 61.74 ± 10.04%. The participants receiving the Tele-Case-Management Program intervention showed significantly greater improvement than those in the control group in the symptom frequency (p= 0.029) and distress (p= 0.014), and depressive symptom (p=0.029) at one-month follow-up. Furthermore, the intervention effects on resilience (p= 0.001), symptom frequency (p= 0.001) and distress (p= 0.001), and depressive symptom (p= 0.001) were significantly improved in experimental group compared with control group at 3-month follow-up.
Conclusion: The Tele-Case-Management Program is able to improve resilience, symptom frequency and distress, depressive symptoms in heart transplant recipients.