Telehealth for Persons With Severe Functional Disabilities and Their Caregivers: Facilitating Self-Care Management in the Home Setting

Telehealth Department, INTEGRIS Health, Oklahoma City, OK, USA.
Psychological Services (Impact Factor: 1.08). 05/2012; 9(2):144-62. DOI: 10.1037/a0028112
Source: PubMed


Persons with severe functional disabilities are the highest users of health care services. Caring for the needs of this population represents a significant percentage of our national health care costs. A growing body of research has demonstrated the efficacy of self-management strategies and caregiver engagement for effective long-term care for individuals with chronic medical conditions. Economic forces over the past decade have led to new challenges and resulted in major changes in health care delivery resulting in shortened length of inpatient stays and greater limits on the length of outpatient treatment. Telehealth is an innovative method for health care delivery and a means of meeting this new challenge. This article highlights the findings of 3 pilot studies on the use of telecommunications technologies in promoting self-care management and enhancing health care outcomes in persons with severe disabilities and their family caregivers. The importance of matching technology to the needs of this population, lessons learned from these investigations, and future directions for research are addressed.

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