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Health professionals' responses to the introduction of a home telehealth service

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Carl May


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An ethnographic (participant observation) study was undertaken of the socio-technical processes involved in the implementation, within a randomized controlled trial, of a home telehealth nursing service for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Ethnographic field notes were taken about technology-related tasks and the interplay between the research team and the 12 nurses who were to use the telehealth equipment. Views of the technology were linked to views of professional self-image and status. The technology was sometimes seen as unhelpful in establishing effective relationships with patients. Considerable work by all participants, over a period of months, was required to develop the technology in ways that minimized the risk to the stability of the specialist service and existing nurse-patient relationships. Our work highlights the complex problems that health professionals encounter when they try to integrate new technologies into routine service delivery. The concerns arising from the interplay of new technology with existing professional practices and relationships go beyond simple issues of training.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Hibbert D, Mair FS, May CR, Boland A, O'Connor J, Capewell S, Angus RM

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare

Year: 2004

Volume: 10

Issue: 4

Pages: 226-230

Print publication date: 01/01/2004

ISSN (print): 1357-633X

ISSN (electronic): 1758-1109

Publisher: Royal Society of Medicine Press Ltd


DOI: 10.1258/1357633041424386

PubMed id: 15273033


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