Effect of Telenursing on Outcomes of Provided Care by Caregivers of Patients With Head Trauma After Discharge

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Abstract

Telenursing is a suitable tool for increasing health-related awareness of the caregivers for a better home care. But its efficacy may be affected by several factors. Considering the important complications of head trauma injury and high rate of readmission, we aimed to assess the effect of telenursing on care provided by the family members of patients with head trauma.

This randomized controlled trial investigated 72 patients with head trauma, who were randomly allocated to intervention and control groups (36 patients in each group). The caregivers in both groups were provided with 1-hr face-to-face training session on patients' home care and educational booklets. The patients in the intervention group were followed up every week through phone calls by the telenurse for 12 weeks, who recorded the patient's status, as well. Caregivers in the intervention group could call the telenurse any time they desired. The health status of the control group was followed once by a phone call after 12 weeks. Data on patients' readmission and pressure ulcer (based on Norton's scale) rate and time were compared between the groups and analyzed using SPSS software, version 19. Thirty-three patients with a mean ± SD age of 31.12 ± 10.83 years were studied in the control group and 35 patients with a mean ± SD age of 34.11 ± 12.34 years in the intervention group (p = .098). None of the patients in the intervention group were readmitted, whereas 2 patients in the control group were readmitted s(p = .139). Risk of pressure ulcer did not differ between the groups (p = .583). Telenursing had no significant effect in readmission and decubitus prevention for patients with head trauma. Considering the chronic nature of the illness, a longer follow-up period is deemed necessary for an accurate conclusion.

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