The use of computer mediated communication in providing patient support: a review of the research literature

Wagg, A., Callanan, M. and Hassett, A. (2018) The use of computer mediated communication in providing patient support: a review of the research literature. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 82. pp. 68-78. ISSN 0020-7489.

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Objectives: The aim of this study is to explore how computer mediated communication has been used by a variety of healthcare professionals to support their patients and discuss the implication that this may have for future practice.

Design: A systematized review of the literature.

Data sources: A review of empirical studies within the literature was carried out in April 2016 in CINAHL, MEDLINE, ASSIA, BNI, Psychinfo, and Web of Science databases.

Review methods: The databases searched produced 2930 titles, of which 190 publications were considered relevant to the objectives. Titles and abstracts were then reviewed and duplicates removed producing 67 publications. Exclusion and inclusion criteria were applied. The inclusion criteria were (1) interventions that facilitate two-way communication between any healthcare professional and their patients via a computer; (2) Interventions aimed at providing any type of support e.g. emotional, tangible, informational, or esteem support; (3) English language; (4) Primary empirical studies. Data quality was assessed and thematic analysis applied.

Results: Thirty-one publications were included in this study. Intervention types included Email (n=8), Videoconferencing (n=7), Online Social Support Groups (n=9) and multifaceted interventions (n=7). Three themes emerged from the data including increasing access to healthcare, adding value to healthcare delivery and improving patient outcomes. Twenty-five (81%) of the studies found that computer mediated communication could produce positive effects.

Conclusions: Computer mediated communication could be both what patients want and a way of delivering support to patients in a resource tight environment. This has implications for a range of health support needs and professionals including nurses, midwives, and allied healthcare professionals. Reviewing the lessons learnt will ensure future interventions are tailored to the support needs of the patients, carefully planned and mindful of the risks.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Computer mediated communication; Health visiting; Healthcare; Literature review; midwifery allied health professionals; nursing; patients; social media; support
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF075 Psychology. Practice
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF0636 Applied psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences > School of Psychology, Politics and Sociology > Salomons Centre for Applied Psychology
Depositing User: Dr Alex Hassett
Date Deposited: 24 Apr 2018 16:21
Last Modified: 24 Apr 2019 09:45

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00