This was a qualitative interview study of patients aged between 60 years and over together with their partners or relatives where applicable on implementation of a telemonitoring system in their homes for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) combined with heart disease. Patients and their relatives were largely positive about telemonitoring but they expressed concerns regarding health professional access and attachment; heightened illness anxiety and desire to avoid continuation of the ‘sick-role’; the need for good organisational processes and informal support. Ease of use was connected to equipment design being suitable for older people. Participants felt it was important to establish trends in health status, to enable detection of early signs of infection and increase the potential for patients to self-manage.
The main trial results have been previously presented at the European Respiratory Society conference and these are currently being prepared for publication. The overall conclusion of this sub-study was that to increase home telemonitoring acceptance among older people, consideration of equipment design and organisational factors was important.
Members of Community and Health Research Unit (CaHRU), Jo Middlemass (research nurse) and Prof Niro Siriwardena travelled north to Tromsø, Norway, in the Arctic Circle, to discuss progress and the next phase of the European Commission Framework 7 funded study, Clinical tRials fOr elderly patients with MultiplE Disease (CHROMED).
CHROMED is an international multicentre randomised control trial in five European countries: United Kingdom, Sweden, Estonia, Spain and Slovenia, representing different social and organisational contexts in Europe. The study is seeking to investigate the effectiveness of health and lifestyle status management using telehealth to support elderly patients with multiple conditions including chronic obstructive lung disease and chronic heart disease or sleep apnoea. The Lincoln arm of the study, which involves a partnership between Lincoln Community Health Services NHS Trust and CaHRU at the University of Lincoln comprises a feasibility study of five patients followed by a full study involving 32 patients.
Tromsø in the summer has permanent daylight, which means that after a hard day’s work many local residents and visiting researchers can be seen climbing the local mountains to enjoy the view!
Jo Middlemass returns to join the research team this October 2012 as Research Assistant on the CHROMED (Clinical tRials fOr elderly patients with MultiplE Disease) study which is a three-year, international, European Commission funded study investigating the effectiveness and costs of telecare for patients with long-term conditions including COPD and heart failure. Previously Jo worked on the ENACT study (Exploring Social Networks to Augment Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for people with insomnia).