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Awareness, experiences and perceptions of telehealth in a rural Queensland community.

Bradford NK, Caffery LJ, Smith AC - BMC Health Serv Res (2015)

Bottom Line: Major themes evident included: acceptance of the need to travel; paternalism and empowerment; and trust and misconceptions.For telehealth initiatives to be successful, there needs to be greater public awareness and understanding of the potential benefits of telehealth.Empowering patients as partners in the delivery of healthcare may be an important factor in the growth of telehealth services.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: The University of Queensland, Centre for Online Health, PAH Telehealth Centre, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Woolloongabba, QLD, 4102, Australia. n.bradford@uq.edu.au.

ABSTRACT

Background: Telehealth can offer alternative options for receiving healthcare services in rural locations, improving access and reducing costs associated with traveling for services. However, the full potential of telehealth has not been realised with slow and fragmented uptake. This study describes the awareness, experiences and perceptions of telehealth in an Australian rural community.

Methods: Semi-structured interviews were undertaken with 47 participants from three rural towns in the Darling Downs region of Queensland. Content analysis was used to abstract themes and core concepts from the interviews.

Results: Three participants were healthcare providers who had all previously used telehealth in their clinical practice. Twenty-seven (57 %) participants regularly travelled to access specialist healthcare. While 28 (60 %) participants were aware of telehealth, only six (13 %) had actually used telehealth services; three as patients and three as healthcare providers. Major themes evident included: acceptance of the need to travel; paternalism and empowerment; and trust and misconceptions.

Conclusions: For telehealth initiatives to be successful, there needs to be greater public awareness and understanding of the potential benefits of telehealth. Empowering patients as partners in the delivery of healthcare may be an important factor in the growth of telehealth services.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

“Australian Population Grid 2011”, Source: Census of Population and Housing 2011, Australia Bureau of Statistics. Copyright Commonwealth of Australia, 2014
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Fig1: “Australian Population Grid 2011”, Source: Census of Population and Housing 2011, Australia Bureau of Statistics. Copyright Commonwealth of Australia, 2014

Mentions: Australia is a large continent, with one of the most urbanised populations in the world. Most towns and cities are located within 50 km off the coastal perimeter, with vast unpopulated areas in the middle of the continent (See Fig. 1) [1]. Australia has a low population density (people per square kilometre); in 2014 the Australian population density was just 3 compared with 35 in the United States, 265 in the United Kingdom and 421 in India [2]. Population counts are used to classify Australian locations as either urban or rural. Urban locations are those with a population cluster 10,000 people or more, and rural locations make up the balance [3]. Over the last two decades— similar to many other nations — Australia’s urban population has increased, while the rural population has slowly declined [3]. Unsurprisingly, health outcomes for people living in rural locations of Australia are generally worse than their urban counterparts [4, 5]. National census data estimated life expectancy to be four years shorter, and mortality for people under 65 years of age to be twice as high in rural areas compared with urban areas [6]. This is largely because people living in such locations do not have the same level of access to healthcare. Equity of access to healthcare in rural locations is compromised by geography, time and distance.Fig. 1


Awareness, experiences and perceptions of telehealth in a rural Queensland community.

Bradford NK, Caffery LJ, Smith AC - BMC Health Serv Res (2015)

“Australian Population Grid 2011”, Source: Census of Population and Housing 2011, Australia Bureau of Statistics. Copyright Commonwealth of Australia, 2014
© Copyright Policy - OpenAccess
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4587917&req=5

Fig1: “Australian Population Grid 2011”, Source: Census of Population and Housing 2011, Australia Bureau of Statistics. Copyright Commonwealth of Australia, 2014
Mentions: Australia is a large continent, with one of the most urbanised populations in the world. Most towns and cities are located within 50 km off the coastal perimeter, with vast unpopulated areas in the middle of the continent (See Fig. 1) [1]. Australia has a low population density (people per square kilometre); in 2014 the Australian population density was just 3 compared with 35 in the United States, 265 in the United Kingdom and 421 in India [2]. Population counts are used to classify Australian locations as either urban or rural. Urban locations are those with a population cluster 10,000 people or more, and rural locations make up the balance [3]. Over the last two decades— similar to many other nations — Australia’s urban population has increased, while the rural population has slowly declined [3]. Unsurprisingly, health outcomes for people living in rural locations of Australia are generally worse than their urban counterparts [4, 5]. National census data estimated life expectancy to be four years shorter, and mortality for people under 65 years of age to be twice as high in rural areas compared with urban areas [6]. This is largely because people living in such locations do not have the same level of access to healthcare. Equity of access to healthcare in rural locations is compromised by geography, time and distance.Fig. 1

Bottom Line: Major themes evident included: acceptance of the need to travel; paternalism and empowerment; and trust and misconceptions.For telehealth initiatives to be successful, there needs to be greater public awareness and understanding of the potential benefits of telehealth.Empowering patients as partners in the delivery of healthcare may be an important factor in the growth of telehealth services.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: The University of Queensland, Centre for Online Health, PAH Telehealth Centre, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Woolloongabba, QLD, 4102, Australia. n.bradford@uq.edu.au.

ABSTRACT

Background: Telehealth can offer alternative options for receiving healthcare services in rural locations, improving access and reducing costs associated with traveling for services. However, the full potential of telehealth has not been realised with slow and fragmented uptake. This study describes the awareness, experiences and perceptions of telehealth in an Australian rural community.

Methods: Semi-structured interviews were undertaken with 47 participants from three rural towns in the Darling Downs region of Queensland. Content analysis was used to abstract themes and core concepts from the interviews.

Results: Three participants were healthcare providers who had all previously used telehealth in their clinical practice. Twenty-seven (57 %) participants regularly travelled to access specialist healthcare. While 28 (60 %) participants were aware of telehealth, only six (13 %) had actually used telehealth services; three as patients and three as healthcare providers. Major themes evident included: acceptance of the need to travel; paternalism and empowerment; and trust and misconceptions.

Conclusions: For telehealth initiatives to be successful, there needs to be greater public awareness and understanding of the potential benefits of telehealth. Empowering patients as partners in the delivery of healthcare may be an important factor in the growth of telehealth services.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus