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  • 1.
    Hanson, E
    et al.
    University of Borås, School of Health Science.
    Magnusson, L
    University of Borås, School of Health Science.
    Torp, S
    Hauge, S
    Ulstein, I
    A Pilot study of how information and communication technology may contribute to health promotion amongst older spousal carers in Norway2008In: Health & Social Care in the Community, ISSN 0966-0410, E-ISSN 1365-2524, Vol. 16, no 1, p. 75-85Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The objective of this pilot Norwegian intervention study was to explore whether use of information and communication technology (ICT) by informal carers of frail elderly people living at home would enable them to gain more knowledge about chronic illness, caring and coping, establish an informal support network and reduce stress and related mental health problems. Potential participants were close relatives of an elderly person with a diagnosis of a chronic illness dwelling in the same household who wished to continue caring for their relative at home, were 60 years of age or older, had been caring for less than 2 years, were a computer novice and had Norwegian as their first language. Nineteen elderly spousal carers participated in the study from two municipalities in eastern Norway. The project commenced in January 2004 and consisted of a multimethod evaluation model. Outcomes measured included carers’ social contacts (measured by the Family and Friendship Contacts scale); burden of care (measured by the Relative Stress scale); and knowledge about chronic disease and caring, stress and mental health and use of ICT (examined via a composite carer questionnaire). These quantitative data were collected immediately prior to the study and at 12 months. Qualitative data were also collected via focus group interviews with participant carers at 7 months. At follow-up, quantitative measures did not reveal any reduction in carer stress or mental health problems. However, carers reported extensive use of the ICT service, more social contacts and increased support and less need for information about chronic illness and caring. Contact with and support from other carers with similar experiences was particularly valued by participants. The intervention also enhanced contacts with family and friends outside the carer network. Thus, it can be seen that ICT has the potential to contribute to health promotion among elderly spousal carers.

  • 2.
    Magnusson, Lennart
    et al.
    University of Borås, School of Health Science.
    Hanson, Elizabeth
    University of Borås, School of Health Science.
    Ethical issues arising from a research, technology and development project to support frail older people and their family carers at home2003In: Health & Social Care in the Community, ISSN 0966-0410, E-ISSN 1365-2524, Vol. 11, no 5, p. 431-439Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The present paper provides an overview of the application of the key ethical issues which arose in an EU-funded research, technology and development project, Assisting Carers using Telematics Interventions to meet Older Persons’ Needs (ACTION). The primary aim of the ACTION project was to support frail older people and their family carers in their own homes across England, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, Sweden and Portugal via the use of user-friendly information and communication technology. Ethical guidelines were developed in the project and used as a tool to enable the multidisciplinary project team to increase their awareness of ethical issues in their everyday work, and to act as a useful ethical framework for regular team discussions at international and local meetings across the partner countries. A range of ethical issues arose during the field-study phases of the project when the ACTION services were introduced into a number of families’ own homes. It can be argued that these ethical issues reflect factors relating both to the application of research into practice, as well as those relating more directly to the use of new technology by families and care professionals. Key issues centre upon the ethical concepts of autonomy, independence, quality of life, beneficence, non-maleficence and justice, and more specifically, on ethical issues of security, privacy and confidentiality, increased expectations, and withdrawal of the service. This paper is intended to facilitate dialogue and debate in the area of enabling (assistive) technology in home care for older people and their families.

  • 3. Torp, S
    et al.
    Hanson, E
    University of Borås, School of Health Science.
    Hauge, S
    Ulstein, I
    Magnusson, L
    University of Borås, School of Health Science.
    A pilot study of how information and communication technology may contribute to health promotion amongst older spousal carers, Health and Social Care in the Community2007In: Health & Social Care in the Community, ISSN 0966-0410, E-ISSN 1365-2524, Vol. 16, no 1, p. 75-85Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The objective of this pilot Norwegian intervention study was to explore whether use of information and communication technology (ICT) by informal carers of frail elderly people living at home would enable them to gain more knowledge about chronic illness, caring and coping, establish an informal support network and reduce stress and related mental health problems. Potential participants were close relatives of an elderly person with a diagnosis of a chronic illness dwelling in the same household who wished to continue caring for their relative at home, were 60 years of age or older, had been caring for less than 2 years, were a computer novice and had Norwegian as their first language. Nineteen elderly spousal carers participated in the study from two municipalities in eastern Norway. The project commenced in January 2004 and consisted of a multimethod evaluation model. Outcomes measured included carers' social contacts (measured by the Family and Friendship Contacts scale); burden of care (measured by the Relative Stress scale); and knowledge about chronic disease and caring, stress and mental health and use of ICT (examined via a composite carer questionnaire). These quantitative data were collected immediately prior to the study and at 12 months. Qualitative data were also collected via focus group interviews with participant carers at 7 months. At follow-up, quantitative measures did not reveal any reduction in carer stress or mental health problems. However, carers reported extensive use of the ICT service, more social contacts and increased support and less need for information about chronic illness and caring. Contact with and support from other carers with similar experiences was particularly valued by participants. The intervention also enhanced contacts with family and friends outside the carer network. Thus, it can be seen that ICT has the potential to contribute to health promotion among elderly spousal carers.

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