1. Singh Joy, Subhashni D.


According to this study:


* Older residents benefited from interacting with family members through videoconferencing.



Article Content

This qualitative study examined the use of videoconferencing technology by 34 older residents at 10 nursing homes. Most were illiterate or had only a primary school education; their average age was 75. Although residents had no previous mental illness or language or cognitive deficits, 94% had some level of functional disability.


A trained research assistant helped residents to use the videoconferencing technology, which they used for three months to interact with family members. They were then interviewed about their experiences.


Residents spent an average of nearly 12 minutes each time they interacted with their families, the frequency of which was weekly for 47% of residents-followed by 24%, 18%, and 12% for monthly, seldom, and daily, respectively. They all found that videoconferencing enriched their lives, adding excitement and interest to their days.


Although residents preferred in-person visits, videoconferencing was viewed as a good second option. Compared with a phone call, the video interaction gave residents a more accurate picture of their family members' lives. They noted that it prevented family members from hiding problems.


Residents stated that they had to learn to use the technology but felt accomplished after they did. They also needed to adjust to communicating through a video format and at times had little to say. In addition, they had to be ready when the videoconferencing equipment was available, which, because of budgetary restrictions, was only at certain times.


The authors concluded that health care providers and policymakers should consider the use of videoconferencing at nursing homes so that older residents who don't live close to family members can more frequently communicate with them.


Tsai HH, Tsai YF. J Clin Nurs 2010;19(11-12):1538-43.