Striking a balance between in-person care and the use of eHealth to support the older rural population with chronic pain

Anne Roberts, Lorna Philip, Margaret Currie, Alasdair Mort

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23 Citations (Scopus)
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New and existing information communication technologies (ICT) are playing an increasingly important role in the delivery of health and social care services. eHealth1 has the potential to supplement in-person home visits for older, rural adults with chronic pain. The Technology to support Older Adults' Personal and Social Interaction project-TOPS-examines interactions between older people and their health/social care providers and considers how eHealth could play a part in enhancing the life experiences of older people with chronic pain, who live in remote/rural areas. This paper reports findings from the TOPS study, drawing upon observations of health/social care home visits to chronic pain patients and interviews with patients and health/social care providers in rural Scotland. Patients and care professionals believe in-person care promotes the general well-being of older people with pain. However, our findings show that the potential recipients of eHealth are open to the use of such technologies and that although they cannot be expected to replace existing models of care, eHealth may provide opportunities to sustain and enhance these interactions.
Original languageEnglish
Article number27536
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-Being
Early online date1 Sept 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2 Sept 2015

Bibliographical note

Competing interests and funding: The TOPS (Technology to support Older Adults’ Personal and Social Interaction) project is supported by an award made by the RCUK Digital Economy programme to the dot. rural Digital Economy Hub, award reference EP/G066051/1.


  • eHealth
  • technology
  • health care
  • older people
  • chronic pain
  • social interaction


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