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Health Services Research & Development

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HSR&D Citation Abstract

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Dickman Portz J, Ford K, Bekelman DB, Boxer RS, Kutner JS, Czaja S, Elsbernd K, Bull S. "We're Taking Something So Human and Trying to Digitize": Provider Recommendations for mHealth in Palliative Care. Journal of palliative medicine. 2020 Feb 1; 23(2):240-247.
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Abstract: Mobile health (mHealth) is a promising tool for improving health outcomes. However, the benefits of using mHealth in palliative care are under studied. As a first step to designing meaningful palliative care-specific mobile applications, this research explored provider perspectives regarding the utility of mHealth in palliative care. A qualitative phenomenological study with semistructured interviews. Providers from multiple disciplines working in palliative care settings at an academic medical center. Thematic analysis resulted in five provider recommendations regarding the utility and design of palliative care-specific mHealth, including (i) thoughtfulness to language, context, and delivery when assessing palliative care needs; (ii) include tools for prognosis and advance care planning; (iii) tailor health and quality-of-life goals; (iv) emphasize supports for family and caregivers; and (v) consider technology abilities of older adults. Palliative care providers are enthusiastic about the use of mHealth to improve care coordination, facilitate communication, enhance symptom monitoring, and improve patient-family support. However, providers have reservations about mobile functionality and depersonalized assessment and care. Providers stress the utility of mHealth to facilitate palliative care rather than replace important multidisciplinary services.

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