Under surveillance, yet looked after: telehomecare as viewed by patients and their spouse/partners

Eur J Cardiovasc Nurs. 2008 Sep;7(3):239-46. doi: 10.1016/j.ejcnurse.2007.11.004. Epub 2008 Jan 29.


Introduction: In this research project, a group of heart patients were transferred from traditional hospital settings to home hospitalisation across sectors. The project involved patients with heart failure and arrhythmia.

Aim: The aim was to understand the experiences and attitudes of patients and their spouses/partners with regard to the application of telehomecare technology as an option within home hospitalisation.

Methods: A phenomenological hermeneutic approach was used to collect and interpret the findings and data. A triangulation of data collection techniques was applied using participation observation and qualitative interviews with patients and spouse/partner. Data were analysed from the perspective of the sociology of everyday life.

Findings: The impact of home hospitalisation on patients is described according to several themes: security, freedom, increased awareness of own symptoms, being 'looked after' but annoyed with their spouse/partner. The patients experience a seamless cross-sector patient care process. The impact on the spouse/partner includes elements of increased responsibility, nervous tension, and invasion of privacy.

Conclusion: Patients believe that home hospitalisation speeds up the process of returning to everyday life, both physically and mentally. It is important to be aware of certain anxieties experienced by the patient's spouse/partner about home hospitalisation, and these anxieties may also affect the patient.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Atrial Flutter / therapy*
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Denmark
  • Female
  • Heart Failure / therapy*
  • Home Care Services, Hospital-Based*
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Psychological Theory
  • Qualitative Research
  • Spouses / psychology
  • Telemedicine*