Informal caregivers who are interested and do make use of information and communication technologies

Gunilla Lindqvist, Elizabeth Hanson


Objective: The aim of the study was to highlight informal caregivers’ interest in using the Information and Communication Technology (ICT)-based ACTION service (Assisting Carers using Telematics Interventions to meet Older People’s Needs) and their ideas for how to further develop and extend the service. The use of ICT is constantly increasing worldwide. Europe has the highest old age dependency ratio, but other parts of the world are also experiencing a dramatic ageing of their population. The demands for care are increasing, and resources are shrinking. One way to support informal caregivers is through ICT.
Methods: The study employed a qualitative design. Focus group interviews were carried out with informal caregivers in Sweden. The interviews were analysed using a latent content analysis method.
Results: The analysis yielded a major theme, striving to feel confident, with four categories: informal caregivers’ reflections and ideas about ICT; promoting their own health process; increasing their knowledge bank and informal caregivers’ rights; and striving for inclusiveness.
Conclusions: The present study highlights the challenges that informal caregivers face in their daily life as well as their resources to devise possible solutions that could improve their situation. To preserve their health, a carer support plan including regular health checks could be helpful. ICT-based support (such as the ACTION service) could act as a way forward for supporting informal caregivers in their striving to feel confident. The study highlighted that ICT-based support has the potential to act as a direct benefit for informal caregivers.

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Clinical Nursing Studies
ISSN 2324-7940(Print)   ISSN 2324-7959(Online)

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