Experiences With Video Consultations in Specialized Palliative Home-Care: Qualitative Study of Patient and Relative Perspectives

Karen Frydenrejn Funderskov, Mette Raunkiær, Dorthe Boe Danbjørg, Ann-Dorthe Zwisler, Lene Munk, Mia Jess, Karin Brochstedt Dieperink


BACKGROUND: The work of specialized palliative care (SPC) teams is often challenged by substantial amounts of time spent driving to and from patients' homes and long distances between the patients and the hospitals.

OBJECTIVE: Video consultations may be a solution for real-time SPC at home. The aim of this study was to explore the use of video consultations, experienced by patients and their relatives, as part of SPC at home.

METHODS: This explorative and qualitative study included palliative care patients in different stages and relatives to use video consultations as a part of their SPC between October 2016 and March 2017. Data collection took place in the patients' homes and consisted of participant observations followed by semistructured interviews. Inclusion criteria consisted of patients with the need for SPC, aged more than 18 years, who agreed to participate, and relatives wanting to participate in the video consultations. Data were analyzed with Giorgi's descriptive phenomenological methodology.

RESULTS: A number of patients (n=11) and relatives (n=3) were included and, in total, 86 video consultations were conducted. Patients participating varied in time from 1 month to 6 months, and the number of video consultations per patient varied from 3 to 18. The use of video consultations led to a situation where patients, despite life-threatening illnesses and technical difficulties, took an active role. In addition, relatives were able to join on equal terms, which increased active involvement. The patients had different opinions on when to initiate the use of video consultations in SPC; it was experienced as optional at the initiating stage as well as the final stage of illness. If the video consultations included multiple participants from the SPC team, the use of video consultations could be difficult to complete without interruptions.

CONCLUSIONS: Video consultations in SPC for home-based patients are feasible and facilitate a strengthened involvement and communication between patients, relatives, and SPC team members.

TidsskriftJournal of Medical Internet Research
Udgave nummer3
Sider (fra-til)e10208
StatusUdgivet - 21 mar. 2019
Udgivet eksterntJa


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