University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Bradford Hill seminar > What matters to people with assistive living needs? Findings from the ATHENE ethnographic study of telehealth and telecare in the home

What matters to people with assistive living needs? Findings from the ATHENE ethnographic study of telehealth and telecare in the home

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Simon Richard White.

Recent research on telehealth and telecare has been dominated by efficacy trials. The field lacks a sophisticated theorisation of [a] what matters to older people with assisted living needs; [b] how the experience of illness affects people’s capacity to use assistive technologies; and© the materiality of these technologies. In this project, funded by the Technology Strategy Board, we aimed to develop a sociologically and phenomenologically informed theoretical model of assisted technology use by older people with health and/or social care needs. 32 people aged 60-98 were recruited via NHS , social care and third sector in two UK sites characterised by socio-economic deprivation and ethnic diversity. Each was visited at home up to 5 times for periods of 1-4 hours. Using ethnographic methods, including a home tour, narrative and semi-structured interviews and cultural probes, we built a detailed picture of participants’ lives, lifestyles and illness experiences, including but not limited to their use of assistive technologies. Data were analysed at microlevel using phenomenology, drawing on Merleau-Ponty (lived body) and Heidegger (technology ready-to-hand). Findings were further theorised at meso and macro level using structuration theory. This talk will present preliminary results and explain how Heideggerian phenomenology can illuminate aspects of assistive living needs that randomised trials leave unexplored.

This talk is part of the Bradford Hill seminar series.

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