A comparison of live counseling with a web-based lifestyle and medication intervention to reduce coronary heart disease risk: a randomized clinical trial.

Journal Article (Multicenter Study;Journal Article)


Most primary care clinicians lack the skills and resources to offer effective lifestyle and medication (L&M) counseling to reduce coronary heart disease (CHD) risk. Thus, effective and feasible CHD prevention programs are needed for typical practice settings.


To assess the effectiveness, acceptability, and cost-effectiveness of a combined L&M intervention to reduce CHD risk offered in counselor-delivered and web-based formats.

Design, setting, and participants

A comparative effectiveness trial in 5 diverse family medicine practices in North Carolina. Participants were established patients, aged 35 to 79 years, with no known cardiovascular disease, and at moderate to high risk for CHD (10-year Framingham Risk Score [FRS], ≥10%).


Participants were randomized to counselor-delivered or web-based format, each including 4 intensive and 3 maintenance sessions. After randomization, both formats used a web-based decision aid showing potential CHD risk reduction associated with L&M risk-reducing strategies. Participants chose the risk-reducing strategies they wished to follow.

Main outcomes and measures

The primary outcome was within-group change in FRS at 4-month follow-up. Other measures included standardized assessments of blood pressure, blood lipid levels, lifestyle behaviors, and medication adherence. Acceptability and cost-effectiveness were also assessed. Outcomes were assessed at 4 and 12 months.


Of 2274 screened patients, 385 were randomized (192 counselor; 193 web): mean age, 62 years; 24% African American; and mean FRS, 16.9%. Follow-up at 4 and 12 months included 91% and 87% of the randomized participants, respectively. There was a sustained reduction in FRS at both 4 months (primary outcome) and 12 months for both counselor-based (-2.3% [95% CI, -3.0% to -1.6%] and -1.9% [95% CI, -2.8% to -1.1%], respectively) and web-based groups (-1.5% [95% CI, -2.2% to -0.9%] and -1.7% [95% CI, -2.6% to -0.8%] respectively). At 4 months, the adjusted difference in FRS between groups was -1.0% (95% CI, -1.8% to -0.1%) (P = .03), and at 12 months, it was -0.6% (95% CI, -1.7% to 0.5%) (P = .30). The 12-month costs from the payer perspective were $207 and $110 per person for the counselor- and web-based interventions, respectively.

Conclusions and relevance

Both intervention formats reduced CHD risk through 12-month follow-up. The web format was less expensive.

Trial registration

clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT01245686.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Keyserling, TC; Sheridan, SL; Draeger, LB; Finkelstein, EA; Gizlice, Z; Kruger, E; Johnston, LF; Sloane, PD; Samuel-Hodge, C; Evenson, KR; Gross, MD; Donahue, KE; Pignone, MP; Vu, MB; Steinbacher, EA; Weiner, BJ; Bangdiwala, SI; Ammerman, AS

Published Date

  • July 2014

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 174 / 7

Start / End Page

  • 1144 - 1157

PubMed ID

  • 24861959

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC4142754

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2168-6114

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 2168-6106

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.1984


  • eng