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Perspectives and expectations for telemedicine opportunities from families of nursing home residents and caregivers in nursing homes

Perspectives and expectations for telemedicine opportunities from families of nursing home residents and caregivers in nursing homes

International Journal of Medical Informatics 78(7): 494-502

This study assessed current perspectives and expectations for telemedicine by nursing home caregivers and families of nursing home patients in Taipei, Taiwan. A total of 116 interviews were conducted with family members (n=37) and caregivers (n=79) using an original, four-part questionnaire devised to assess the expectations and concerns related to prospective telemedicine opportunities, including consumer attitude, knowledge of and interest in medicine, concerns and worries about telemedicine, and anticipated benefits of telemedicine. Statistical significance between the two groups was observed in sex, age, and educational level (all p<0.001). Most respondents had heard about telemedicine before participation and showed some interest in telemedicine implementation. More than 70.0% of subjects in both groups had perceptions of telemonitoring of patients, notifications of health abnormalities, teleconferencing between physicians and family members, obtaining test/exam results and face-to-face consultation through telenetworks. Both groups hoped for information and education through telemedicine. More caregivers were concerned about increased costs (p=0.020), poor hardware quality (p<0.001), poor security, confidentiality, and reliability (p=0.036), inconvenience to patients (p=0.006), associated moral and ethical issues (p=0.006), and uncertainty about responsibility (p=0.022). The two groups did not differ in expectations concerning benefits of telemedicine. More than 60% of family members or caregivers expected improved efficiency and quality of hospital and nursing home health care, greater rapport between nursing homes and either staff or patients, reduced overall medical costs of caregiving, and reduced staff/caregiver working hours. The acceptable cost was anything up to $15.30 USD per month. Nursing home caregivers and families of nursing home patients are highly interested in telemedicine; however, they are only willing to pay a slightly higher cost of nursing care for this service. The challenge for the future in this industry is to balance peoples' demands and telemedicine's associated costs. Results of this study suggest that caregivers and families of nursing home residents favour telemedicine implementation to provide enhanced care coordination in nursing homes when economic circumstances are favourable.

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Accession: 054949384

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 19345640

DOI: 10.1016/j.ijmedinf.2009.02.009

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