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. 2018 Jun;13(2):e12181.
doi: 10.1111/opn.12181. Epub 2017 Dec 5.

Testing an app for reporting health concerns-Experiences from older people and home care nurses

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Testing an app for reporting health concerns-Experiences from older people and home care nurses

Carina Göransson et al. Int J Older People Nurs. .
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Aims and objectives: To explore the experiences of using an app among older people with home-based health care and their nurses.

Background: Few information and communication technology innovations have been developed and tested for older people with chronic conditions living at home with home-based health care support. Innovative ways to support older people's health and self-care are needed.

Design: Explorative qualitative design.

Methods: For 3 months to report health concerns, older people receiving home-based health care used an interactive app, which included direct access to self-care advice, graphs and a risk assessment model that sends alerts to nurses for rapid management. Interviews with older people (n = 17) and focus group discussions with home care nurses (n = 12) were conducted and analysed using thematic analysis.

Results: The findings reveal that a process occurs. Using the app, the older people participated in their care, and the app enabled learning and a new way of communication. The interaction gave a sense of security and increased self-confidence among older people. The home care nurses viewed the alerts as appropriate for the management of health concerns. However, all participants experienced challenges in using new technology and had suggestions for improvement.

Conclusions: The use of an app appears to increase the older people's participation in their health care and offers them an opportunity to be an active partner in their care. The app as a new way to interact with home care nurses increased the feeling of security. The older people were motivated to learn to use the app and described potential use for it in the future.

Implications for practice: The use of an app should be considered as a useful information and communication technology innovation that can improve communication and accessibility for older people with home-based health care.

Keywords: app; health concerns; older people; security; self-confidence; thematic analysis.

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