• concept analysis;
  • nurses;
  • nursing;
  • principle-based;
  • telecare


Aim.  To report a concept analysis of telecare.

Background.  Lately telecare has become a worldwide, modern way of giving care over distance by means of technology. Other concepts, like telemedicine, e-health, and telehealth, focus on the same topic though the boundaries between them seem to be blurred.

Data sources.  Sources comprise 44 English language research articles retrieved from the database of Medline and Cinahl (1995–October 2011).

Design.  Literature Review.

Method.  A principle-based analysis was undertaken through content analysis of the definitions, attributes, preconditions, and outcomes of the concept.

Results.  The attributes are well described according to the use of technology, caring activity, persons involved, and accessibility. Preconditions and outcomes are well described concerning individual and health political needs and benefits. The concept did not hold its boundaries through theoretical integration with the concept of telemedicine and telehealth. The definition of telecare competes with concepts like home-based e-health, telehomecare, telephonecare, telephone-based psychosocial services, telehealth, and telemedicine. Assessment of the definitions resulted in a suggestion of a new definition: Telecare is the use of information, communication, and monitoring technologies which allow healthcare providers to remotely evaluate health status, give educational intervention, or deliver health and social care to patients in their homes.

Conclusion.  The logical principle was assessed to be partly immature, whereas the pragmatical and linguistical principles were found to be mature. A new definition is suggested and this has moved the epistemological principle forward to maturity.