Feasibility of Telehealth Technology for Pain Assessment in Adult Family Homes
Poppe, Anne P.
MetadataShow full item record
America’s current healthcare system is not equipped to meet the healthcare needs of our aging population due to diminishing resources and a lack of nurses and primary care providers. For older adults, untreated pain is a healthcare need that can significantly diminish functional independence and quality of life. Older adults prefer to age in place in home-like environments, and the adult family home (AFH) is one residential option that meets varying levels of care needs of many community dwelling older adults (Hedrick, Sullivan, Sales, & Gray, 2009). Telehealth that uses communications technology to bridge geographic distances from healthcare organizations to AFHs is one innovative way to deliver resources to caregivers in the care of AFH residents. However, there is limited research on AFH caregiving, technology use, learning needs of direct caregivers, and the best model of community-based nursing oversight of care practices. Composed of two studies, this dissertation assessed the different types of technology used in AFHs and the feasibility of using telehealth for pain assessment and caregiver learning needs regarding pain assessment. Study one used a cross sectional descriptive survey design to assess AFH technology usage. Findings demonstrated diverse profiles of technology usage in AFHs. Study two used a mixed methods approach to assess the feasibility for AFH caregivers to use telehealth for pain assessment of older adult residents. Results indicated that caregivers and older adult residents have positive perceptions toward telehealth. Both survey and qualitative results support the use of telehealth technology to deliver educational resources and nursing care oversight. The results of this study help to inform the development of a community-driven curriculum for care of diverse community dwelling vulnerable older adults in settings such as adult family homes. This study also informs development of service learning strategies and care delivery programs that use telehealth in the AFH setting. Findings from this study contribute important evidence to understanding care giving in AFHs, their technology infrastructure, and the potential for telehealth interventions in the community setting to support aging in place.
- Nursing - Seattle