Diabetes is a metabolic disorder that, if not treated promptly and appropriately, can cause complex health complications and mortality. Changes in societal structure have fostered an increase in the incidence of diabetes and made the traditional hospital visit model less efficient for meeting the care needs of these patients. The care models that apply technology, such as telecare or so-called telehealth, may be useful in working with diabetes patients. The current study applied qualitative research methodology through interviews with nine diabetes case managers involved in telecare services. To identify the participants’ acceptance and perceived effectiveness of telecare services, content analysis of the interview data was used. The following four major themes were identified in the study results: (1) improved case management, (2) setting appropriate expectations for care outcome, (3) acknowledging patients’ sense of losing privacy, and (4) disease prevention and interdisciplinary cooperation. The study findings may serve as an indicator of the need for further promotion, appraisal, and validation of the telecare services model, to enhance the comprehensiveness of diabetes care.
Author Affiliations: Department of Nursing, Tzu Chi College of Technology, Hualien, Taiwan (Ms Chang); School of Nursing, National Taipei University of Nursing and Health Sciences, Taipei, Taiwan (Dr Lee); Department of Nursing, Cardinal Tien Hospital Yonghe Branch, New Taipei City, Taiwan (Ms Chou); School of Nursing, University of Maryland, Baltimore (Dr Mills).
This work was supported by a grant (NSC-99-2314-B-227-006-MY3) from the National Science Council, Taiwan, to Dr Ting-Ting Lee.
The authors have disclosed that they have no significant relationship with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.
Corresponding Author: Ting-Ting Lee, PhD, RN, School of Nursing, National Taipei University of Nursing and Health Sciences, 365 Ming Te Road, Taipei 11219, Taiwan (firstname.lastname@example.org).