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Perceptions of technology experiences and development among family caregivers and technology researchers: a qualitative study

Xiong, C., Astell, A. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6822-9472, Nalder, E., Camerona, J., Mihailidis, A. and Colantonio, A. (2020) Perceptions of technology experiences and development among family caregivers and technology researchers: a qualitative study. JMIR Formative Research. ISSN 2561-326X (In Press)

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Abstract/Summary

Background: Caregiving is highly stressful and associated with poor mental and physical health. Technologies, including mobile and e-health applications, have been developed to address caregiver needs. Yet, there remains a paucity of research that examines the technology perceptions of informal caregivers, especially from a sex, gender and diversity perspective. Objective: To address this gap and inform the development of future caregiving technologies, this study aimed to (1) examine how family caregivers perceive the use of technology in assisting with their caregiving routines, (2) explore the sex, gender and diversity influences on these perceptions and (3) understand how these perceptions and needs are reflected within the current technology development process. Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 16 informal caregivers of individuals with a range of chronic medical conditions and eight technology researchers involved in caregiving technology projects. Results: Three main themes with subthemes were developed: the first main theme is Caregivers see a need for technology in their lives and consists of three subthemes: Caregiving is a challenging endeavor, Technology is multi-faceted, and Caregiver preferences mediate technology use. The second main theme is Relationships play a vital role in mediating technology uptake and comprises two subthemes: The caregiver-care recipient dynamic shapes technology perceptions, and Caregivers rely on external networks for technology information. Finally, the third main theme is Barriers are present in the use and adoption of technology and comprises two subthemes: Technology may not be compatible with personal values and abilities, and Technology that is not tailored towards caregivers lacks adoption. Conclusions: The findings bring to light the multi-faceted role technology can play in aiding caregiving, while at the same time drawing attention to the pitfalls and drawbacks of these technologies perceived by caregivers. Bringing in technology researchers to the study provides a more holistic understanding of technology in caregiving from its initial development to eventual uptake by caregivers.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Ageing
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Psychology
ID Code:95129
Publisher:JMIR Publications

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