Technology enhanced care services and Innovation

The following projects are an indication of research being conducted in this theme.


Negotiating conversation and interaction through videoconferencing in speech language therapy: A conversation analytic study

Researcher: David Dalley (PhD student);
Supervisors: Dr Rachel Rahman & Dr Antonia Ivaldi; Aberystwyth University
External Collaborators: Ms Sali Curtis; Speech Language Therapist Abertawe Bro Morgannwg UHB contracted to Hywel Dda UHB

Over the past 40 years, telehealth technologies have been introduced into a variety of domains of health-care. Previous studies have demonstrated how the quality of the interaction between health-care providers and patients can influence patient understanding of medical information, perceptions of their diagnosis and quality of life. This is particularly relevant in speech language therapy, where conversation may already be challenging and differing methods of communication maybe required. The introduction of telehealth into these interactions adds an additional dynamic to be negotiated within the conversation. This study explores the how communication and interactions between speech and language therapists and patients are negotiated when sessions are delivered via telehealth. The research uses naturalistic audio-visual recordings of speech and language telehealth consultations to analyse the talk and non-verbal gestures between the therapist and consenting patients using conversation analysis. This will enable better understanding of best practice to facilitate effective communication in telehealth consultations.

 


Telehealth to facilitate group psychosocial support for immunosuppressed patients in a rural setting

Lead researcher: Dr Rachel Rahman, Aberystwyth University
Contributors: Ms Martine Robson, Dr Antonia Ivaldi; Aberystwyth University
External Collaborators: Ms Gudrun Jones, Art therapist; Hywel Dda UHB

Social support is a critical component of treatment for immunosuppressed patients undergoing chemotherapy. However, travel to a communal venue to access group support can add both increased fatigue and risk of infection for immune vulnerable patients. This is particularly relevant to rural communities where the increased travel times required to access services compound the fatigue and the rural geography increases the risk of social isolation when these services are not available. The following research programme established a novel service to provide rural patients with the opportunity to engage with group art therapy delivered from the comfort of their own home via telehealth videoconferencing technology. The research aims to explore how patients and the therapist experience engaging in group therapy in this way and how group art therapy and conversation is negotiated when delivered via telehealth

 


Patient and professional acceptability of telehealth to monitor COPD and Diabetes

Lead researcher: Dr Rachel Rahman, Aberystwyth University
Contributors: Dr Joseph Keenan, Aberystwyth University
External Collaborators: Professor Keir Lewis, Dr Sam Rice, Ms Claire Hurlin, Ms Sarah Hicks; Hywel Dda UHB

This study formed part of a larger project managed by Hywel Dda University Health Board as part of the European Commission sponsored project ‘United for Health.’ This utilised a randomised controlled trial of the telemonitoring technologies in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and Diabetes and explored a range of clinical and well-being outcomes. However, for telehealth to achieve its potential in encouraging autonomous behaviour and self-management amongst patients, both patients and health professionals must be accepting of technology in their service provision. This research was commissioned by Hywel Dda UHB as an independent evaluation of how patients health care providers involved with the trial experienced the telemonitoring technologies and as a result how acceptable they felt these were to incorporate into service delivery.

Relevant publications:
Rahman, R., & Keenan, J. 2016. Patient and professional acceptability of telehealth to monitor COPD and diabetes. European Health Psychology Society and BPS Division of Health Psychology Annual Conference 2016, Aberdeen, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, 23/09/2016 - 27/09/2016. pp. 622
Rahman, R., & Keenan, J. (2015). Patient and professional acceptability of telehealth to monitor COPD and diabetes. Commissioned report for Hywel Dda UHB.


Utilising telehealth to provide psychosocial support in palliative care

Researcher: Dr Joseph Keenan (PhD research)
Supervisors: Dr Rachel Rahman, Aberystwyth University and Dr Joanne Hudson, Swansea University
External Collaborators: Ms Gudrun Jones, Art Therapist, & Dr Gokul, Palliative Care Physician. Hywel Dda UHB

The use of telehealth has emerged as a potential way to overcome organisational and geographical barriers to service delivery in rural areas. For palliative care patients and their carers accessing psychosocial support can form a critical component of their care. However, the increased travel times for either the patient or healthcare professional can mean that access to this support can be limited or non-existent. Whilst telehealth may offer a viable solution, the sensitive nature of end of life and palliative care can mean that health care professionals are reluctant to offer what can be considered a sub-standard form of support. This programme of postgraduate research explored health care professionals’ barriers and facilitators to using telehealth technologies in palliative care and compared these with the lived experiences of a group of patients who accessed psychosocial support via telehealth videoconferencing over a period of three months.

Relevant publications:
Keenan, J., Rahman, R., Hudson, J. 2016. Experiences of palliative care patients accessing psychosocial support through telehealth. European Health Psychology Society and BPS Division of Health Psychology Annual Conference 2016, Aberdeen, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, 23/09/2016 - 27/09/2016. pp. 485.
Keenan, J., Rahman, R., Hudson, J. 2015. Exploring palliative care patients’ experiences of accessing psychological support through telehealth. 15th Annual All Wales Palliative Care Conference, Newtown, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, 08/10/2015 - 09/10/2015.
Keenan, J.R., Rahman, R., Hudson, J. 2014. Exploring psychological underpinnings of medical professionals' perceptions of telehealth implementation in palliative care. European Health Psychology Society conference, Innsbruck, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, 18/09/2016.