Patients' perceptions regarding home telecare

Telemed J E Health. 2000 Winter;6(4):409-15. doi: 10.1089/15305620050503889.


While home telecare's potential to reduce health care costs appears clear, patients' perceptions regarding this new technology have not been studied. We conducted structured interviews to elicit patients' perceptions regarding home telecare. We developed a 34-item survey instrument, which was administered during structured home interviews to a convenience sample of patients who were currently or had previously been enrolled in the Sonora Health System or University of California Davis home telecare pilot projects. Fifteen (56%) of the 27 past or present enrollees agreed to be interviewed. Most had either a neutral (9 of 15, 60%) or positive (5 of 15, 33%) outlook regarding home telecare before their enrollment. Following enrollment, all were either very satisfied (10 of 15, 67%) or somewhat satisfied (5 of 15, 33%) with services they had received. Fourteen of 15 (93%) were willing to receive home telecare services in the future, and all 15 would recommend home telecare to friends or family members. Despite education to the contrary, patients perceived that the presence of telecare equipment in the home implied 24-hour-a-day access to a nurse. Some interviewees felt uncomfortable disclosing intimate information during televisits, and others lamented the reduced amount of time nurses spent "socializing" as compared to in-person visits. Despite concerns regarding its confidentiality and its ability to approximate the social stimulation of in-person nursing visits, patients in these pilot trials seemed satisfied with home telecare and appeared ready to accept its widespread use.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • California
  • Confidentiality
  • Female
  • Home Care Services / standards*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Program Evaluation
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Telemedicine / standards*