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A system for symptom assessment in advanced palliative home healthcare using digital pens.
Linköping University, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Medical Informatics. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
Linköping University, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Medical Informatics. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
2004 (English)In: Medical informatics and the Internet in medicine, ISSN 1463-9238, Vol. 29, no 3-4, 199-210 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Symptom control is one of the most important components of delivering effective palliative care, and adequate symptom assessment is a prerequisite for good symptom control. Patients receiving treatment in palliative home healthcare is geographically separated from the caregivers making symptom control a challenge, a challenge that could be met by the use of information and communication technology. Technologies of today offer different ways for patients to assess their symptoms at home and send the assessments to the healthcare provider. Examples are the use of a PC, a touch-tone telephone, and a digital pen, which require different kinds of infrastructure in the patient's home, and which differ in strengths and weaknesses. As part of an ongoing quality assurance work within the hospital-based home care clinic at Linköping University Hospital, the project has designed, developed and implemented an IT-support system for pain assessments for patients at home using digital pen and mobile Internet technology. A questionnaire study indicated that pain assessment using digital pens was accepted by patients and that problems mainly arose from the use of the visual-analogue scale.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2004. Vol. 29, no 3-4, 199-210 p.
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-14168DOI: 10.1080/14639230400005966OAI: diva2:22776
Available from: 2006-11-30 Created: 2006-11-30 Last updated: 2009-05-25
In thesis
1. Towards Effortless Use of Information Technology in Home Healthcare with a Networked Digital Pen
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Towards Effortless Use of Information Technology in Home Healthcare with a Networked Digital Pen
2006 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

When care is moved from the hospital to the home the demands for high quality care still remain. For problems arising from the geographical separation of patients and professional caregivers, information and communication technology may offer important solutions. The overall aim of this thesis was to describe relevant requirements, to design and implement an IT-based system, and finally to evaluate the system’s influence on symptom control and support for both patients/next-of-kin and professional caregivers in advanced home healthcare. Of importance were needs in basic as well as advanced home healthcare, as were usability perspectives of both patients and professional caregivers. Requirement areas such as security, mobility, and responsibility, which should be considered when monitoring patients in the home, were identified. A prototype system for everyday assistance for diabetes patients was designed, and a system for frequent pain assessment for palliative home healthcare patients using a pain diary, digital pen and mobile Internet technology, was developed and evaluated through a qualitative content analysis approach. Twelve palliative cancer patients and six professional caregivers participated. The data collected included an ease-of-use questionnaire, and interviews with patients, spouses and professional caregivers. Patients expressed increased and improved contact with the caregivers, increased participation in their own care, a sense of increased security, and easiness in using the equipment in spite of severe illness and difficulties in comprehending the technology and system intervention. The professional caregivers showed a shifting outlook towards the pain assessment method; an initial cautious outlook due to low expectations of the patients’ abilities to use the pain assessment method and the caregivers’ own reluctance to use the system and change their way-of-working. Despite this, the professional caregivers experienced positive outcomes in terms of an increased awareness of pain, and positive patient influences including increased participation in their care, increased security and improved changes in pain treatment as a response to reported pain assessments. In conclusion, the networked digital pen system provided an effortless method for pain assessment and had positive influences on the care. The results imply that digital pen technology is suitable for the assessment of symptoms by palliative patients since these patients often have a limited capacity to handle technology due to their state of health.

Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Dissertations, ISSN 0345-7524 ; 1039
Home care services, Hospital-based, Requirements, Pain Assessment, Visual Analogue Scale, Palliative care, Digital pens, Mobile phones, Internet
National Category
Biomedical Laboratory Science/Technology
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-7840 (URN)91-85523-17-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2006-10-06, Linden, Hälsouniversitetet, Campus US, Linköpings Universitet, Linköping, 09:15 (English)
On the day of the public defence date of the doctoral thesis the status of article III and IV was Submitted.Available from: 2006-11-30 Created: 2006-11-30 Last updated: 2009-03-05

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