Aims and objectives: To describe use of home telehealth care as an alternative for chronic disease management from users' perspective. Background: As the population ages, telehealth is increasingly being used to tackle problems related to the fast growing ageing population. Home telehealth care therefore poses challenges and offers opportunities for patients and healthcare providers. Design: A qualitative approach was adopted with a purposeful sample of 20 patients residing in Taiwan. Method: Patients who had received the service for three months and were willing to share their experiences were recruited. Data were collected by face-to-face interviews with semi-structured interview guideline (n = 8) and a focus group discussion (n = 12) in 2010. A qualitative content analysis was used. Results: Four key themes were identified: perceived support and security, enhanced disease self-management, concerned with using the devices and worries about the cost by patients. Most users favoured using the service to control their chronic conditions because of its convenience and accessibility, and their condition could be measured daily to enhance their sense of security. Users could determine and understand changes in their condition and improve medical regimen compliance, and they were empowered to revise their lifestyles for better disease self-management. However, users were concerned about the utility of the service, because they were unfamiliar with the operating procedures and doubted its quality. As the service is still in stage of pilot testing, users worried about possible cost and reimbursement policy changes in the future. Conclusion: Most users perceived telehealth care was a convenient and useful model for healthcare-delivery. It increased the availability of health care and improved the self-care ability of patients. Relevance to clinical practice: To advocate for home telehealth care, nurses must play an active role in providing consumers with proper training and support for any problems when adopting the system to foster patients' willingness to use this service.
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