Success and Difficulty in High-Tech Home Care


  • Susan Brunoli Stiller R.N., M.S.N.

    Corresponding author
    1. member of the clinical faculty of the Department of Nursing, Central Connecticut State University, New Britain, Connecticut, and a public health nurse with the Trumbull Public Health Nursing Service.
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Address correspondence to Susan Brunoli Stiller, R.N., Trumbull Public Health Nursing Service, 4632 Madison Ave., Trumbull, CT 06611. Telephone (203) 268-8683.


Abstract A retrospective, descriptive study was conducted to gather information on patients receiving high-tech home care and their families. A newly created data collection form, the health-specific family coping index, and subjective opinions of primary nurses and nursing administration regarding outcome were used to collect the information. Two groups emerged from the data analysis. One group, labeled successful, encountered few management problems, and consisted mostly of male patients with female care givers. The other group, labeled difficult, had management problems, and were mostly female patients with male care givers. The latter patients were members of younger families in which their illness necessitated role changes within the family. They also had poorer prognoses, more acute illnesses, and longer hospital and community health nursing admissions than the successful group. Family coping scores were also lower in this group, with an average of 28.7 as compared with 40.5 for the successful group. These results appear to be independent of the high-tech procedure required in the home, which was mastered by most individuals in an average of four nursing visits. Although future research is needed to verify these results, my findings indicate a need for more resources and nursing knowledge to assist those undergoing role changes during illness.