Aim: To synthesize qualitative and quantitative evidence of front-line staff acceptance of the use of telehealth technologies for the management of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and Chronic Heart Failure.
Background: The implementation of telehealth at scale is a governmental priority in countries including the UK, USA and Canada, but little research has been conducted to analyse the impact of implementation on front-line nursing staff.
Data sources: Six relevant data bases were searched between 2000-2012.
Design: Mixed-method systematic review including all study designs.
Review methods: Centre for Reviews and Dissemination approach with thematic analysis and narrative synthesis of results.
Results: Fourteen studies met the review inclusion criteria; 2 quantitative surveys, 2 mixed-method studies and 10 using qualitative methods, including focus groups, interviews, document analysis and observations. Identified factors affecting staff acceptance centred on the negative impact of service change, staff-patient interaction, credibility and autonomy, and technical issues. Studies often contrasted staff and patient perspectives, and data about staff acceptance were collected as part of a wider study, rather than being the focus of data collection, meaning data about staff acceptance were limited.
Conclusion: If telehealth is to be implemented, studies indicate that the lack of acceptance of this new way of working may be a key barrier. However, recommendations have not moved beyond barrier identification to recognizing solutions that might be implemented by front-line staff. Such solutions are imperative if future roll-out of telehealth technologies is to be successfully achieved.
Keywords: attitudes; chronic obstructive; health services research; heart failure; pulmonary disease; systematic reviews and meta-analyses; technology.
© 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.