Predictors for the use of e-Health by older adults and Care professionals

SIA RAAK International project
Predictors for the use of e-Health by older adults and Care professionals (PETZ)

Duration: September 2011 – September 2013
Supervision: dr. H.S.M. Kort, Chair Research Group for Demand-driven Care
Researcher: A. Antonietti, MSc, A. Barakat, MSc
Project management: drs. S. Barends
Project dissemination: drs. M. Smole
Project assistance: S. de Vries

Reason
In the Netherlands, the demand for care increases with 2% on average. The amount of persons working in professional care is much lower, whereas in the future the volume of family carers will decrease with half. Frail older adults should therefore look for other alternatives which might help them to age-in-place. Dutch policy concentrates on increase of the use of e-Health technology in healthcare.
There are different ICT-projects in the long-term professional care in the Netherlands. At this moment none of them is structural imbedded. Increase to knowledge, skills and experience of care professionals is necessary. Little to no courses are available to train care professionals in the possibilities of e-Health and to teach them the skills in daily practice use of e-Health.
Client organizations and care organizations are not well informed about how and in which context they might use e-Health technology. Professionals as well as older clients are insufficient competent to use e-Health, they have a so called engineering illiteracy. It is a technology they did not learn in their youth.
The aim of the PETZ-project is to develop instruments to reduce this engineering illiteracy of older adults and care professionals.

Objectives
The PETZ project aims to decrease engineering illiteracy by developing tools and instruments for knowledge and experience extension in e-Health technology. The focus of this project is to gain insight in the predictors for the use of e-Health technology by older adults and by care professionals. With the knowledge about the predictors, instruction and training can be given to clients and professionals respectively.

The PETZ-project is set up as a reaction to:
a. Dissatisfaction of care organizations with the lack of knowledge and experience of care professionals (especially nurses in care organizations for long term care) of the e-Health applications and the way to use them;
b. Lack of knowledge of care organizations to organize education in e-Health technology;
c. Dissatisfaction of clients and client organizations with the lack of courses in e-Health technology.
In several pilots e-Health is used. Care professionals involved received a short instruction. This does not mean that they received proper education about e-Health and were given the opportunity to achieve competences to communicate at a distance with clients, to diagnose a certain syndrome, to take a case history and give care.

The objective of the PETZ-project is to collectively develop a long term program for practice oriented research on e-Health technology for older adults and care professionals in order to achieve that older adults are not socially excluded from the use of e-Health technology by deficient knowledge and skills and that care professionals are better equipped to use e-Health technology in their daily practice.
These questions and objectives lead to the following sub questions:

  • What are the predictors for the use of e-Health technology by older adults and care professionals?
  • How can these predictors be used for the development of training and courses about e-Health technology?
  • Which subjects need special attention of client and care organizations in the development of training and courses about e-Health technology?
  • Which implications do these predictors give the developers of e-Health technology? What are the main subjects the developers need to consider?
  • Which implications do these predictors give the developers of competences for care professionals in e-Health technology? What are the most important care competences in care for the use of e-Health technology?


Target Group
The PETZ-project is aimed at care professionals as well as older adults, because care professionals proved to have insufficient knowledge and experience to inform their clients and to support them in the use of e-Health technology. Care and client organizations lack knowledge to present a course in e-Health. Older adults also lack knowledge about the possibilities and impossibilities of e-Health in their daily life.
Within the PETZ-project the emphasis is on the demand for e-Health technology, especially on the way clients and care professionals can express their demands for e-Health by experience and knowledge.

Scheme
The actual use of e-Health technology by older adults and care professionals is determined retrospectively. For this purpose the consortium partners develop questionnaires and observation list, in order to determine which technology older adults and professionals use, what they use this technology for and under which conditions. The project starts with qualitative field research by participant observations, indicated by the lack of knowledge about the perception of older adults and care professionals in the actual use of e-Health.

Phasing
Phase 0 Operationalization of the project
Phase 1 Development of questionnaires and observation list; recruitment and selection
Phase 2 Progressing of questionnaires and observation list
Phase 3 Development of training and courses
Phase 4 Pilot training and courses
Phase 5 Evaluation and conclusion.

The project has an international scope. CREATE – the American partner - contributes with existing knowledge and experience. CREATE investigates the technology use of older adults by questionnaires and observations. Until now no care professionals were involved. Care professionals can play a role in facilitation, observation and support. In order to describe the role of care professionals CREATE wants to use the results of het PETZ project for their own research program. Conversely, in the Netherlands we can learn from their research on strategies of older adults to remain independent and from the expertise of CREATE in the development of training, together with older adults, to enhance the skills to use (care) technology.

Intended results
Knowledge about the predictors for the use of e-Health technology by older adults and care professionals forms the basis of the training instruments to be developed. The final instrument will be a training for care professionals in order to give them the skills and competences in the use of e-Health technology. The training will also give them confidence in the use of e-Health technology and in the assessment of e-Health technology within their own organization. An instrument for older adults will also be developed. This will be a course for older adults in order to make them more skilled and competent in the use of e-Health technology. They will also become acquainted with the greater value of daily used e-Health technology as a strategic instrument to remain independent.

Products
The intended results for the different stakeholders are:

Care professionals
• Training for care professionals.
• Description of the competences of care professionals to be obtained by attending the training.
• Understanding of the crucial moment to hold a course on e-Health technology to older adults (context).
• Understanding of the adaptation and adoption of e-Health technologies by older adults in their strategies to remain independent.
• Create awareness among care professionals of the diversity of older adults and of the skills of older adults to learn at a very high age.
• Experience and knowledge in the development of courses and training in e-Health technology.

Older adults
• Courses for older adults.
• Description of the skills and competences of older adults in e-Health technology.
• Alternative strategies for independent functioning by the use of e-Health.

Education and research
• Knowledge and skills in Context Aware Query Processing.
• Systematic scientific study of different sources by teachers. This skills will be made available in Internationalization-at-home. Use of scientific knowledge of e-Health technology by teachers in education in their own organization.
• Create awareness among students and teachers of the diversity of older adults and of the skills of older adults to learn at a very high age.
• Researchers and teachers are aware of the fact that scientific knowledge has to be adapted in order to apply it with care professionals and older adults.
• Enhance the skills of teachers and researchers in communication in English.
• Enhance the experience and knowledge of teachers and researchers in working at distance and in conducting scientific research.
• Professional- and scientific publications.
• Experience of teachers in organization and planning of meetings of groups with a different background.
• Experience and knowledge of teachers in the development of courses and training in e-Health technology.
• Eagerness to learn and to research.

In order to contribute the achieved knowledge in education master classes, `minors’ (free/alternative classes) and summer courses are developed.
The project will be concluded by an independent symposium where care professionals, older adults, teachers, students, researchers and supervisors will be present and the consortium members from the CREATE group will make an active contribution.
In conclusion the results of this research will be recorded in a dissertation.

Project partners
The consortium has the expertise to develop instruments for both care professionals and clients. Within the consortium the following objectives are concerned:
a. Assemble, process, improve and disseminate knowledge in order to reduce and prevent engineering illiteracy in e-Health technology.
b. Develop instruments to prevent engineering illiteracy of both older adults and care professionals in e-Health technology.
c. Develop procedures and methods for use of e-Health in order to lighten the work of care professionals and to make it suitable for the needs of the older (vulnerable) client.
d. Build a sustainable cooperation between the participant Universities of Applied Sciences in order to establish a cooperation by analogy with CREATE in which activities can be developed for a successful adoption of technology by care professionals.

The consortium include the following members:
• University of Applied Sciences Utrecht, Centre for Innovations in Health Care, Research Group Demand Driven Care
• CREATE Center for Research and Education on Aging and Technology Enhancement (CREATE), a cooperation of University of Miami, Georgia Institute of Technology and Florida State University
• Fontys University of Applied Sciences, Research Group Ambient Intelligence & Design
• Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences , Research Group Innovation and Product realization, Program Technology for Care,
• Care organization Careyn
• IVVU Vereniging van Instellingen voor Verpleging en Verzorging, Utrecht (Association of Nursing and Care Organizations)
• CliëntenBelang Utrecht (Client organization). 

     

 



The project  ‘Summary Predictors for the use of e-Health by older adults and Care professionals’ is facilitated within the scheme of RAAK (Regional Attention and Action for Knowledge circulation) programs . The RAAK scheme is managed by the Foundation Innovation Alliance (SIA - Stichting Innovatie Alliantie). Registration number 2010-4-004-INT

Stichting Innovatie Alliantie

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