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Empowerment in living practice: mobile ICT as a tool for empowerment of elderly people in home health care
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Health Sciences, Health and Rehab.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8052-6680
2007 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The aging of Europe's population is a crucial challenge for the 21st century. Today, the mean life expectancy in Sweden is 83 years for women and 78 for men. Providing health care of high quality on equal terms for all citizens is an important political goal in Sweden. It is a great challenge for providers to achieve elderly care of high quality and to develop products, services and technologies that meet the needs of elderly people. Increased use of various forms of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) can enable the citizens to take more active part in their own health care. Dimensions of empowerment such as participation and ability to influence/control one's life situation imply an approach to health care with the patient/client in focus. The aim of this thesis was to explore different dimensions of empowerment and empowerment methodology for elderly persons in home health care, and if ICT is a useful tool in this process. Methods used included interviews with patients with experience of rehabilitation, reflective learning workshops with first line staff in home care and an intervention where a mobile safety alarm was tested by elderly individuals. Different analysis methods were used, including Grounded Theory, Latent content analysis and constructivist Grounded Theory together with reflections. My findings were that the process of rehabilitation was experienced as a parallel process based on traditional and individual models, implying that a patient copes with a situation by shifting between being compliant and adopting more self-regulatory behaviour. The results indicated low patient participation in and influence on the rehabilitation process in the hospital. When ICT as an empowering tool was implemented, findings showed that elderly people experienced the use of a mobile safety alarm as an empowering tool. The mobile safety alarm gave the freedom of movement needed to be physical active and still feel safe. The positioning device was not experienced as a threat to their integrity. Mobility and safety were experienced as more important than privacy. Freedom of movement and mobility were described as matters of freedom and empowerment. My research findings indicate that in order to improve home health care services from the patient's/client's perspective, we need to work with the triads of participation, empowerment and mobile Information and Communication Technology. We need to critically and creatively reflect on what clients say and then try to respond positively to what we learn. Real improvement might only occur when accountability changes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Luleå: Luleå tekniska universitet, 2007. , 79 p.
Licentiate thesis / Luleå University of Technology, ISSN 1402-1757 ; 2007:04
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-18671Local ID: 9bc02960-e755-11db-8a98-000ea68e967bOAI: diva2:991682
Godkänd; 2007; 20070220 (ysko)Available from: 2016-09-29 Created: 2016-09-29 Last updated: 2016-12-27Bibliographically approved

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Melander-Wikman, Anita
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