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Implementing welfare technology in palliative homecare for patients with cancer: a qualitative study of health-care professionals’ experiences

  • Oelschlägel, Lina1, 2
  • Dihle, Alfhild3
  • Christensen, Vivi L.1, 4
  • Heggdal, Kristin1
  • Moen, Anne2
  • Österlind, Jane5
  • Steindal, Simen A.1, 6
  • 1 Lovisenberg Diaconal University College, Lovisenberggata 15B, Oslo, 0456, Norway , Oslo (Norway)
  • 2 University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway , Oslo (Norway)
  • 3 OsloMet - Oslo Metropolitan University, Oslo, Norway , Oslo (Norway)
  • 4 University of South-Eastern Norway, Drammen, Norway , Drammen (Norway)
  • 5 Ersta Sköndal Bräcke University College, Stockholm, Sweden , Stockholm (Sweden)
  • 6 VID Specialized University, Oslo, Norway , Oslo (Norway)
Published Article
BMC Palliative Care
BioMed Central
Publication Date
Sep 17, 2021
DOI: 10.1186/s12904-021-00844-w
Springer Nature
  • Research


BackgroundIntroducing welfare technology in home-based palliative care has been suggested to be beneficial for improving access to health care at home and enhancing patients’ feelings of security and safety. However, little is known about the experiences of municipal health-care professionals using welfare technology in palliative home care. The aim of this study was to explore municipal health-care professionals’ experiences regarding the significant challenges, facilitators, and assessments associated with implementing a technological solution named “remote home care” in palliative home care for patients with cancer.MethodsA qualitative, descriptive, exploratory design was used. Data were collected through focus-group interviews and individual semi-structured interviews with interdisciplinary health-care professionals who had experience using remote home care in clinical encounters with cancer patients who were in the palliative phase and living at home. Data were analyzed using qualitative content analysis.ResultsThree themes were identified: 1) shifting from objective measures to assessing priorities for patients, 2) lack of experience and personal distress regarding cancer inhibits professional care, and 3) prominent organizational challenges undermine the premise of remote home care.ConclusionThe results showed that shifting from a disease-focused to a person-centered approach enables health-care professionals to assess patients’ personal priorities.However, health-care professionals’ uncertainty and lack of knowledge and experience, along with organizational issues concerning information-sharing, represent great challenges that have the potential to inhibit professional care. The availability of networks through which difficult issues can be discussed was highlighted as being a fundamental resource for facilitating the provision of care.

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