Telephone-delivered health coaching improves anxiety outcomes after myocardial infarction: The 'ProActive Heart' trial

Adrienne O'Neil, Anna L. Hawkes, John J. Atherton, Tania A. Patrao, Kristy Sanderson, Rory Wolfe, C. Barr Taylor, Brian Oldenburg

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26 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Recently, we found a telephone-delivered secondary prevention programme using health coaching (ProActive Heart) to be effective in improving a range of key behavioural outcomes for myocardial infarction (MI) patients. What remains unclear, however, is the extent to which these treatment effects translate to important psychological outcomes such as depression and anxiety outcomes, an issue of clinical significance due to the substantial proportion of MI patients who experience depression and anxiety. The objective of the study was to investigate, as a secondary hypothesis of a larger trial, the effects of a telephone-delivered health coaching programme on depression and anxiety outcomes of MI patients. Design: Two-arm, parallel-group, randomized, controlled design with six-months outcomes. Methods: Patients admitted to one of two tertiary hospitals in Brisbane, Australia following MI were assessed for eligibility. Four hundred and thirty patients were recruited and randomly assigned to usual care or an intervention group comprising up to 10 telephone-delivered health coaching sessions (ProActive Heart). Regression analysis compared Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale scores of completing participants at six months (intervention: n141 versus usual care: n156). Results: The intervention yielded reductions in anxiety at follow-up (mean difference-0.7, 95% confidence interval -1.4,-0.02) compared with usual care. A similar pattern was observed in mean depression scores but was not statistically significant. Conclusions: The ProActive Heart programme effectively improves anxiety outcomes of patients following myocardial infarction. If combined with psychological-specific treatment, this programme could impact anxiety of greater intensity in a clinically meaningful way.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-38
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Preventive Cardiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014


  • anxiety
  • depression
  • health coaching
  • Myocardial infarction
  • tele-health

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