Editor Steve confesses to having missed the publication of the second journal article covering the Whole System Demonstrator (WSD) evaluation a month ago – along with most other commentators, it seems, although there was a pointer to comment on it at the end of this item. So it’s heads-up thanks to Mike Clark and the Telecare LIN newsletter for highlighting this one.
The study concerns the reasons why people opted out of participating in the WSD programme and, although aspects of this have been reported at conferences, etc. it is worth taking the time to read the full report. Exploring barriers to participation and adoption of telehealth and telecare within the Whole System Demonstrator trial: a qualitative study.
The small number of people who actually opted out is notable and so is the even smaller number (19) who were prepared to be interviewed about why. Even so, the researchers have drawn some interesting conclusions including “such interventions are often considered as a potential major threat to identity and existing management routines and service use for respondents. It was also apparent that even where respondents were somewhat ambivalent in contemplating installation of equipment, their feelings of uncertainty were not mitigated when the prospect of installation for the trial was discussed at the home visits. This indicates that more detailed information and time for discussion could be valuable when introducing these interventions for the first time.” In other words, the constraints of the trial ‘ethics’ meant that fuller, more persuasive explanations were not given to people who were reluctant to participate.