BACKGROUND: Rheumatic heart disease (RHD) is a major public health problem in low- and middle-income countries (LIMCs), with a paucity of high-quality trial data to improve patient outcomes. Investigators felt that involvement in a recent large, observational RHD study impacted positively on their practice, but this was poorly defined.
AIM: The purpose of this study was to document the experience of investigators and research team members from LMICs who participated in a prospective, multi-centre study, the global Rheumatic Heart Disease Registry (REMEDY), conducted in 25 centres in 14 countries from 2010 to 2012.
METHOD: We conducted an online survey of site personnel to identify and quantify their experiences. Telephone interviews were conducted with a subset of respondents to gather additional qualitative data. We asked about their experiences, positive and negative, and about any changes in RHD management practices resulting from their participation in REMEDY as a registry site.
RESULTS: The majority of respondents in both the survey and telephone interviews indicated that participation as a registry site improved their management of RHD patients. Administrative changes included increased attention to follow-up appointments and details in patient records. Clinical changes included increased use of penicillin prophylaxis, and more frequent INR monitoring and contraceptive counselling.
CONCLUSION: Our study demonstrates that participation in clinical research on RHD can have a positive impact on patient management. Furthermore, REMEDY has led to increased patient awareness and improved healthcare workers' knowledge and efficiency in caring for RHD patients.
- Journal Article