How can we develop an efficient ehealth service for provision of care for elderly people with balance disorders and risk of falling? A mixed methods study

Andréa Gomes Martins Gaspar, Pedro Escada, Luís Velez Lapão

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study aimed to identify relevant topics for the development of an efficient eHealth service for elderly people with balance disorders and risk of falling, based on input from physicians providing healthcare to this patient group. In the quantitative part of the study, an open multiple-choice questionnaire was made available on the website of the Portuguese General Medical Council to assess the satisfaction with electronic medical records regarding clinical data available, the time needed to retrieve data and the usefulness of the data. Of the 118 participants, 55% were dissatisfied/very dissatisfied with data availability and 61% with the time spent to access and update data related to the focused patient group. Despite this negative experience, 76% considered future e-Health solutions as pertinent/very pertinent. Subsequently, these findings were further explored with eight semi-structured interviews. The physicians confirmed the reported dissatisfactions and pointed out the lack of comprehensive data and system interoperability as serious problems, causing inefficient health services with an overlap of emergency visits and uncoordinated diagnostics and treatment. In addition, they discussed the importance of camera and audio monitoring to add significant value. Our results indicate considerable potential for e-Health solutions, but substantial improvements are crucial to achieving such future solutions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7410
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume18
Issue number14
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jul 2021

Keywords

  • Balance disorders
  • eHealth
  • Elderly care
  • Falls
  • Mixed methods

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