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The use of technology in the context of frailty screening and management interventions: a study of stakeholders' perspectives

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  • Holly Gwyther
  • Lex van Velsen
  • Rachel L Shaw
  • Barbara D'Avanzo
  • Maria Bujnowska-Fedak
  • Donata Kurpas
  • Katarzyna Szwamel
  • Jan-Willem Van't Klooster
  • Carol Holland
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Article number110
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>11/06/2019
<mark>Journal</mark>BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making
Issue number1
Volume19
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Health and social care interventions show promise as a way of managing the progression of frailty in older adults. Information technology could improve the availability of interventions and services for older adults. The views of stakeholders on the acceptability of technological solutions for frailty screening and management have not been explored.

METHODS: Focus groups were used to gather data from healthy and frail/pre-frail older adults, health and social care providers, and caregivers in three European countries - Italy, Poland and UK. Data were analysed using framework analysis in terms of facilitators or determinants of older adults' adoption of technology.

RESULTS: Our findings clustered around the perceived value; usability, affordability and accessibility; and emotional benefits of frailty screening and management technology to stakeholders. We also noted issues relating to social support, previous experience of technology and confidence of stakeholders.

CONCLUSIONS: Professionals and caregivers understand the benefits of technology to facilitate frailty care pathways but these views are tempered by concerns around social isolation. Frail older adults raised legitimate concerns about the accessibility and usability of technology, specifically around the potential for their personal information to be compromised. Solutions must be developed within a framework that addresses social contexts and avoids stigma around frailty and ageing.