Scand J Caring Sci; 2010; 24; 259–265
Swedish District Nurses’ experiences on the use of information and communication technology for supporting people with serious chronic illness living at home – a case study
The aim of this case study was to describe two District Nurses’ (DN) experiences of using information and communication technology (ICT) to communicate with chronically ill people in their homes. An electronic messaging program via computers and mobile phones with an Internet connection was used, enabling DNs and the ill people to exchange messages to and from anywhere. The program comprised different virtual rooms, and communication was via text messages. The DNs in this study used the program two to four times each week from November 2003 to March 2004. Semi-structured interviews were performed before, during and after the implementation of the new technology and were analysed using thematic content analysis. The results showed that the DNs felt that the technology increased accessibility to nursing care through a more direct communication with the ill person meaning that a more trusting relationship could be created. The DNs also experienced that the use of ICT saved working time. This study indicates that the use of ICT for communication allowed the DN to better support a chronically ill person at home leading to improved home nursing care. This method of communication cannot replace physical presence, but can be seen as a complement to nursing care at home.