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Exploring Factors That Affect The Uptake And Sustainability Of Videoconferencing For Healthcare Provision For Older Adults In Care Homes: A Realist Evaluation

Louise Newbould, S. Ariss, G. Mountain, M. Hawley
Published 2021 · Computer Science, Medicine

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Background Videoconferencing has been proposed as a way of improving access to healthcare for older adults in care homes. Despite this, effective uptake of videoconferencing remains varied. This study evaluates a videoconferencing service for care home staff seeking support from healthcare professionals for the care of residents. The aim was to explore factors affecting the uptake and sustainability of videoconferencing in care homes, to establish what works for whom, in which circumstances and respects. The findings informed recommendations for commissioners and strategic managers on how best to implement videoconferencing for remote healthcare provision in care homes for older adults. Methods Realist evaluation was used to develop, refine and test theories around the uptake and maintenance of videoconferencing in three care homes across Yorkshire and the Humber, England. The care homes were selected using maximum variation sampling regarding the extent to which they used videoconferencing. A developmental inquiry framework and realist interviews were used to identify Context, Mechanism and Outcome Configurations (CMOCs) regarding uptake and sustainability of the service. Participants included care home residents (aged > 65) and staff, relatives and strategic managers of care home chains. The interviews were an iterative process conducted alongside data analysis. Transcripts of audio recordings were entered into NVIVO 12, initially coded into themes, then hypotheses developed, refined and tested. Results Outcomes were generated in relation to two main contextual factors, these were: (1) communication culture in the home and (2) the prior knowledge and experience that staff have of videoconferencing. The key facilitators identified were aspects of leadership, social links within the home and psychological safety which promoted shared learning and confidence in using the technology. Conclusions Videoconferencing is a valuable tool, but successful implementation and sustainability are dependent on care home culture and staff training to promote confidence through positive and supported experiences.
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