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International Journal of Telemedicine and Applications
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 461829, 31 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/461829
Review Article

Using Information and Communication Technology in Home Care for Communication between Patients, Family Members, and Healthcare Professionals: A Systematic Review

Division of Nursing, Department of Health Science, Luleå University of Technology, 971 87 Luleå, Sweden

Received 18 November 2012; Revised 17 January 2013; Accepted 3 February 2013

Academic Editor: Carlos De Las Cuevas

Copyright © 2013 Birgitta Lindberg et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Introduction. Information and communication technology (ICT) are becoming a natural part in healthcare both for delivering and giving accessibility to healthcare for people with chronic illness living at home. Aim. The aim was to review existing studies describing the use of ICT in home care for communication between patients, family members, and healthcare professionals. Methods. A review of studies was conducted that identified 1,276 studies. A selection process and quality appraisal were conducted, which finally resulted in 107 studies. Results. The general results offer an overview of characteristics of studies describing the use of ICT applications in home care and are summarized in areas including study approach, quality appraisal, publications data, terminology used for defining the technology, and disease diagnosis. The specific results describe how communication with ICT was performed in home care and the benefits and drawbacks with the use of ICT. Results were predominated by positive responses in the use of ICT. Conclusion. The use of ICT applications in home care is an expanding research area, with a variety of ICT tools used that could increase accessibility to home care. Using ICT can lead to people living with chronic illnesses gaining control of their illness that promotes self-care.