How can technology be used to support communication in palliative care beyond the Covid-19 pandemic: A mixed-methods national survey of palliative care healthcare professionals

Sarah Stanley*, Anne Finucane, Anthony Thompson, Amara Callistus Nwosu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Background
Developments in digital health have the potential to create new opportunities for healthcare professionals support delivery of palliative care. Globally, many palliative care professionals used digital health innovations to support communication with staff, patients and caregivers, during COVID-19 pandemic. However, there is limited data about the views of palliative care professionals of using digital health to support communication during the pandemic. We aimed to describe how palliative care professionals used technology to support communication (multidisciplinary team working, education and with patients and family caregivers) during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Method(s)
UK based palliative care healthcare professionals completed an electronic questionnaire to describe their use of digital health, during the COVID-19 pandemic, to support (1) communication within the multidisciplinary team (MDT), (2) education and (3) to support communication with patients and carers.

Results
Two hundred and thirty-four palliative care professionals participated. Most (n= 227, 97%) described an increase in their use of digital health, to support communication, since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. We identified benefits and challenges for digital health communication, which we summarised into themes, including ‘a new way of working’, ‘developing a new approach to learning’ and ‘impacting care’.

Conclusion(s)
Since the pandemic, palliative care professionals have increased their use of digital health to support communication in clinical practice. We have identified facilitators and barriers for future practice. Further work should identify the levels of support needed for organisations to ensure that digital health interventions are meaningfully used to help palliative care professionals effectively communicate with patients, caregivers and staff.
Original languageEnglish
Article number40
JournalBMC palliative care
Volume23
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Feb 2024

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • technology
  • communication
  • palliative care
  • healthcare
  • COVID-19
  • pandemic

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