Telehealth Education and Consultation as an Innovative Health Shield for the Eldery At Risk for Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Selected Barangays of Zamboanoanga City, Philippines
Studies show that elderly populations with comorbidities contribute to 50-80% of the overall mortality rate of coronavirus (COVID-19). The Community Health Education, Monitoring, and Prevention System (CHEMPS) aim is to determine the effect of telehealth consultation and education in providing a "health shield" to high-risk individuals from COVID-19 in the southern Philippines. Health shield is defined as the use of protective knowledge empowering skills to the community-based elderly with comorbidities rendered via virtual platform for telehealth consultations and education. A before and after intervention study was done in selected barangays of Zamboanga City. Voice calls were used to deliver a telehealth consultation, education, and collect monitoring and evaluation data. A total of 114 high-risk individuals participated in the study. Most respondents were aged 60–69 (57%) and female (93%), with 79% previously diagnosed with hypertensive cardiovascular disease (HCVD) and type-2 Diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Throughout the study, no participant contracted COVID-19. In addition, a statistically significant decrease (p<0.01) in the number of participants experiencing surrogate symptoms for hypertension and diabetes was reported. An increase in positive home management practices (e.g., medication compliance), and a decrease of negative home management practices (e.g., poor diet choices) were also noted (p<0.01). The health shield appears to have empowered high-risk elderly participants to improve their self-care management, leading to better control of their underlying comorbidities. In conclusion, the CHEMPS program is appropriate and practical to use as a platform to provide health shield to high-risk individuals in the context of a low-resource setting amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Copyright (c) 2021 Dr Jaime Kristoffer Punzalan, Dr Fortunato Cristobal, Dr Monserrat Guingona, Dr Mary Germeyn Durias, Dr Floro Dave Arnuco, Dr Rosemarie Arciaga, Rowayne Mandi
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