VCHAT for Covid-19

A Virtual Community promoting Health literacy, self-cAre, and peer supporT (vCHAT) for patients living with increased risk for COVID-19

Meta-analysis (pooled n=76,993) indicates that chronic heart failure (CHF) and advanced chronic kidney disease (CKD) were among the most prevalent conditions for patients hospitalized with COVID-19. The impact of living with increased risk for COVID-19 includes acute anxiety about health for self and significant others, disruption to medical care, social isolation, disruption to sleep or eating patterns, impaired concentration due to stress, and accompanying strain on caregivers. As a result, patients with chronic conditions such as CKD or CHF are at risk of delaying clinic-based medical care due to fear of COVID-19 exposure, which compounds their risk for unplanned hospitalization or mortality.


This real world, multicenter trial will evaluate the efficacy and usability of a digital program of social network support combined with an automated, evidence-based digital counseling protocol (vCHAT). Our vCHAT protocol has demonstrated potential to promote informed decision making and outpatient self-care to prevent COVID-19 and to improve or maintain health status, quality of life, psychological well-being, and perceived social support for patients with CHF or CKD.

Rob Nolan, PhD, RPsych

Principal Applicant
University of Toronto

Jillianne Code, PhD

University of British Columbia

Distributed Team

Co-Applicants & Partners

Made possible with funding from

In partnership with

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