Telecare of frail elderly: reflections and experiences among health personnel and family members
2004 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Telecare has been an approach to care that, internationally, has experienced a generally rapid development during the last ten years. There are many examples of successful pilot projects where ICT applications have been used in the care of elderly: for improved remote consultation with health professionals, to improve the communication and support of the elderly person’s social network, and as intelligent sensors intended to improve the safety of the elderly person. Despite these successes, implementation has been slow. This research project was set up to provide additional knowledge on some of the important questions regarding quality and implementation aspects of the use of ICT application on the care of frail elderly persons. The overall aim of the research project is to illuminate reasoning and experiences of using applications of telecare for frail elderly persons.
The research project comprised five studies that were conducted using qualitative research methods. Four of them were carried out within the framework of three telecare projects. Different qualitative research approaches such as content analysis, phenomenological hermeneutics and conversational and discourse analysis were used, in accordance with the research questions of each study. The experiences revealed in the findings of the studies indicate that it is possible to have communication of good quality via videoconferencing with frail elderly persons, even those that have mild or mid-level dementia, provided the conditions are right. Technical limitations of the videoconferencing media in transferring communication cues and the limitations on what the camera can expose place special demands on those communicating with the frail elderly and on the general setting. On the other hand, these limitations on the context of interaction in some situations also seem to be an advantage for demented elderly persons and contribute to increased attention. One example of meaningful remote communication with frail elderly persons was family members’ videophone conversations with their demented relatives when they were placed in nursing homes or homes for respite services. This communication gave new possibilities of being involved in caring for, and of maintaining a relationship with, their demented relative. An introduction of teleconsultations in the care of frail elderly persons will, according to the experiences recorded, affect the professional role and the practical spheres of involved health professionals. The perceptions and experiences of participating health personnel indicate that in order for ICT applications to become valuable assets in the care of frail elderly persons they have to be part of a care alternative that is viewed by all concerned as the best alternative, as a whole, for all affected parties. Further research is needed in order to confirm or refute the findings of this thesis and in order to further broaden our understanding of the use of ICT applications in the care of frail elderly persons. This could facilitate a development of ICT applications suitable for the care of frail elderly persons and their introduction into regular care activities, to the benefit of both the frail elderly persons and their carers.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet, Institutionen för omvårdnad , 2004. , 56 p.
Umeå University medical dissertations, ISSN 0346-6612 ; 918
Nursing, Telecare, Frail elderly, Nurse-patient interaction, Quality of care, Professional roles, Videoconferensing, Ethical reasoning, Perception of care
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-339ISBN: 91-7305-733-9OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-339DiVA: diva2:143155
2004-11-05, Vårdvetarhuset, Aulan, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 13:00 (English)
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