Exploring palliative care patients’ experiences of accessing psychological support through telehealth.

Joseph Keenan, Rachel Rahman, Joanne Hudson

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Aims: Access to psychological and emotional support for oncology and palliative care patients and their families forms part of the NICE (2004) best practice guidelines. Yet rurality imposes practical and financial restrictions to the level of care that can be offered thus increasing inequalities seen in rural heath provision. Telehealth is increasingly being considered as a way to reduce health inequalities for rural patients and their families, yet limited research has explored patient experiences of such interventions. The aim of this presentation is to present the findings of research exploring patient experiences of telehealth to provide psychological support in palliative care.

Method: This collaborative study between the Ceredigion Palliative care team and Aberystwyth University incorporated three detailed case studies using a longitudinal qualitative design. A specially formatted laptop was provided for patients to remotely access psychosocial support from a trained art therapist based in Bronglais General Hospital. Patients were interviewed three times at monthly intervals to explore their experiences of using telehealth to access psychosocial support.

Analysis and results: Data was analyzed using Interpretative phenomenological analysis and three key themes were identified; facilitation of a relatedness supportive environment, a sense of empowerment, and perceived sense of heightened internal self-awareness.

Conclusions: The findings suggest that a number of positive psychological experiences were identified by patients where consultation through telehealth sometimes exceeded the face-to-face equivalent following extended travel time. This has implications for how telehealth is considered for use in future palliative care services.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Event15th Annual All Wales Palliative Care Conference - Gregynog Hall, Newtown, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Duration: 08 Oct 201509 Oct 2015


Conference15th Annual All Wales Palliative Care Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Period08 Oct 201509 Oct 2015


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