A telehealth intervention to promote healthy lifestyles after stroke: The Stroke Coach protocol.

Recurrent stroke is prevalent and associated with high mortality rates, disability, and social and economic costs. Adequate management of risk factors may reduce recurrent stroke; however, many stroke survivors have poor control of risk factors. The authors have developed a theoretically sound and evidence-based lifestyle modification program called the Stroke Coach, a telephone-based self-management program to improve control of risk factors.

In this single blind randomized controlled trial, 126 community-living stroke survivors will be randomized to Stroke Coach or the attention control group. Participants randomized to the six-month Stroke Coach will receive seven telephone lifestyle coaching sessions, self-management education and practice, and a self-monitoring kit, comprised of a health report card, with blood pressure and activity monitors. The primary outcome will be measured using the Health Promoting Lifestyle Profile II. Secondary outcomes include behavioral and physiological risk factors, quality of life, cognitive status, health and social service use. Measurements will be taken at baseline, immediately after the intervention and six-month post-intervention.

The results of this trial will add to our understanding of the use of self-management to improve control of risk factors, and may facilitate the development of a larger trial evaluating the effect of Stroke Coach on endpoints such as recurrent stroke or cardiac events as the primary outcome.