Homecare user needs from the perspective of the patient and carers: a review
Debbie Isobel Keeling
School of Business and Economics, Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK
Abstract: There is a global shift towards a blending of care delivery within formal and informal environments in direct response to economic and demographic pressures. Homecare is at the hub of this activity, enabling people to age in place and keeping families intact. However, our understanding of patient and carer needs is fragmented; understandably so, given the complexity of these needs. This descriptive review offers a content analysis of papers focused on patients' and carers' needs and homecare published between January 2010 and October 2013. It is evident that homecare is an intensely researched area, yet it is disjointed. Emerging research emphasizes the need to take a holistic approach. Firstly, incorporating emotional psychosocial and cultural elements will help to draw together our current understanding within a more cohesive framework. Secondly, tensions that hinder communication and collaboration between stakeholders must be resolved. Thirdly, information and communications technology is rapidly becoming synonymous with homecare, and offers solutions for facilitating care delivery, collaboration, and training of future professionals. The rate of international activity promises much for future research collaborations to compare, contrast, and identify best practices for the future of homecare as we endeavor to meet the ever-increasing pressures on health and social care systems.
Keywords: homecare, home health care, patient needs, caregiver needs, telehealth, telemonitoring, patient-centered care
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