Swedish primary healthcare nurses' perceptions of using digital eHealth services in support of patient self-management

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Abstract

Background:

Nurses have expressed doubts about the ongoing digitalisation of Swedish primary health care. Given the potential role of eHealth in primary health care, including supporting interactive self-management for people with chronic conditions, it is important to highlight nurses' experiences. This study is part of a larger project aimed at implementing person-centred interactive self-management support (iSMS) in primary health care.

Aim:

The aim of this study was to describe Swedish primary healthcare nurses' perceptions of using digital eHealth systems and services to support patient self-management.

Methods:

Focus group interviews were conducted with primary healthcare nurses (n = 20). The interview transcriptions were analysed using qualitative content analysis.

Results:

Three themes emerged from the content analysis: caregiving in the midst of digital chaos; a lack of overview and control in daily work; and mixed feelings towards digitalisation. Each theme was subdivided into three subthemes.

Conclusion and relevance to clinical practice:

The results of this study provide insight into a number of concerns that stand in the way of success when it comes to the implementation and use of digital technology. If nurses are to adapt to the new policies and practices that accompany the current digitalised development in Swedish primary health care, the concept of a nurse's traditional work role needs to be amended in terms of the scope of work tasks and established views of traditional nursing. The study also highlights the need for more research to enable eHealth systems/services to be designed to fulfil multiple requirements. The digitised systems should be a tool for achieving good quality self-management support as well as giving the primary healthcare nurses adequate resources to support patients' self-management while still maintaining the values associated with person-centred care.

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