Nurses’ Use of iPads in Home Care—What Does It Mean to Patients?: A Qualitative Study

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Abstract

Although the use of technology is growing, little is known about how patients perceive technology in the form of tools used by health professionals. The prevailing view in the literature is that technology is cold, compared with the warm hands of nurses, but research regarding nurses’ use of technology such as tablets is scarce. Even scarcer is research on how patients perceive the use of technological tools. This study examines patients’ perspectives on the use of iPads by home care nurses. Semistructured interviews were conducted with seven participants who were receiving home care in Denmark, aged 62 to 90 years, with different backgrounds and experiences with technology. Participants viewed nurses’ use of iPads as an everyday occurrence, reflecting societal growth in the use of technology, and some perceived it as a sign of professionalism with the potential to enhance care. Their perceptions varied somewhat according to their baseline knowledge and experience with the technology. Although nurses may view technology as cold, the findings suggest that patients have a slightly warmer view of it. More patient-centered research into the use of technology in healthcare is needed.

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