Delivering patient education by group videoconferencing into the home: Lessons learnt from the Telehealth Literacy Project

J Telemed Telecare. 2016 Dec;22(8):483-488. doi: 10.1177/1357633X16674359.


We examined the procedures for implementing group videoconference (VC) education for older people delivered into the home environment to identify the most common themes affecting the optimum delivery of VC home-based groups to older people. Participants (n = 52) were involved in a six-week group VC patient education program. There were a total of 44 sessions, undertaken by nine groups, with an average of four participants (range 1-7) and the facilitator. Participants could see and hear each other in real-time whilst in their homes with customised tablets or a desktop computer. The data presented here are based on a program log maintained by the facilitator throughout the implementation phase of the project and post intervention. The VC group experience is influenced by factors including the VC device location, connection processes, meeting times, use of visual aids and test calls. Social presence can be improved by communication protocols and strategies. Robust information technology (IT) support is essential in mitigating technical problems to enhance users' experience. Group patient education can be delivered by VC into homes of older people. However, careful pre-program planning, training and support should be considered when implementing such programs.

Keywords: Telehealth; group work; patient education; videoconferencing.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Communication
  • Female
  • Health Literacy / methods
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Education as Topic / methods*
  • Patient Education as Topic / organization & administration
  • Telemedicine / methods*
  • Telemedicine / organization & administration
  • Videoconferencing* / organization & administration