Characteristics of the relationship that develops from nurse-caregiver communication during telecare
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionSolli, H., Hvalvik, S., Bjørk, I.T. & Hellesø, R. Characteristics of the relationship that develops from nurse-caregiver communication during telecare. Journal of Clinical Nursing. 2015, 24(13-14):1995-2004 http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jocn.12786
Aims and objectives. To explore the relationship between nurses and caregivers using a web camera and web forum as the communication methods. Background. In Norway and other European countries, there is an increased focus on ageing at home, which is aided by technology, as well as formal and informal care. The literature reveals that caregivers endure physical and mental burdens. With computer-mediated communication, such as telecare, it is possible for nurses to provide supportive care to caregivers in their homes. Design. An explorative design using qualitative content analysis. Method. Six nurses and nine caregivers with residential spouses suffering from stroke or dementia were interviewed two times over a six-month period. Results. The nurses responded dynamically to the information they received and helped to empower the individual caregivers and to strengthen the interpersonal relationships between the caregivers. While some participants thought that meet- ing in a virtual room was close and intimate, others wanted to maintain a certain distance. The participants’ altered their roles as the masters and receivers of knowledge and experience; this variation was based on a relationship in which mutual respect for one another and an interest in learning from one another allowed them to work together as partners to demonstrate the system and to fol- low-up with new caregivers. Conclusions. The flexibility of the service allows the possibility of engaging in a close, or to some extent, a more distant relationship, depending on the partici- pants’ attitudes towards using this type of service. Relevance to clinical practice. Nurses can provide close care, support and infor- mation to caregivers who endeavour to master their everyday lives together with their sick spouses. The support seems to help the caregivers cope with their own physical and emotional problems.