Novel telemedicine technologies in geriatric chronic non-cancer pain: primary care providers' perspectives.
Physicians, Primary Care
We sought to identify primary care providers' interest in, as well as perceived barriers and facilitators to, using novel telemedicine technologies (e.g., smartphones) for managing chronic non-cancer pain (CNCP) in older adults.
Six focus groups were conducted with 25 primary care providers.
Two academically affiliated primary care practices serving older adults with CNCP in New York City.
The investigators used content analysis to analyze transcribed focus group data and identify specific themes.
While most providers reported limited use of telemedicine, they expressed substantial interest in trying devices such as smartphones in the management of older patients with CNCP. Perceived barriers to implementation of telemedicine tools included information overload, lack of mobile device usability among patients and clinicians, liability issues, and cost. To overcome these barriers, participants suggested implementing electronic or human-based pre-analysis of data (e.g., a computer or a person that triages patient data), creating a low-cost and user-friendly mobile device design, and targeting appropriate user populations.
Primary care providers are interested in applying telemedicine when caring for older adults with CNCP. Although they perceived multiple barriers to device implementation, they offered innovative solutions to address these barriers. Providers felt that novel telemedicine technologies may improve the management of CNCP but wanted evidence that the devices were both cost- and time-efficient, and led to improved patient outcomes before adopting their use in practice.
Wiley Periodicals, Inc.