Assessing Technical Feasibility and Acceptability of Telehealth Palliative Care in Nursing Homes

Caroline E. Stephens, Theresa A. Allison, Lynn A. Flint, Daniel David, Victoria Wertz, Elizabeth Halifax, Pamela Barrientos, Christine S. Ritchie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Over two-Thirds of nursing home (NH) residents are eligible for palliative care (PC), yet few receive it, particularly outside of hospice. Little is known about the technical feasibility and acceptability of using telehealth for PC consultations in NHs. Objective: To determine the technical feasibility and acceptability of PC telehealth for NH residents seen by a PC team in the hospital in the previous 30 days. Design: Mixed methods study including data collection from field observations, focus groups about the telehealth experience with content analysis, and a web-based survey about technical feasibility and acceptability. Sample and Approach: Eighteen participants (six PC-eligible NH residents, one PC physician, five family members, six NH nurses) were recruited in 2016 to participate in one of six PC video visits followed by a video-based focus group and web-based survey. Results: All participants were comfortable with the PC video visit format, believed it could improve communication and care coordination, and reported they could see themselves using telehealth in the near future. For technical feasibility, audio quality was rated mostly good/very good (71%) and visual quality was rated fair (50%). Conclusions: PC video visits are technically feasible and acceptable to NH residents, families, and staff, representing an innovative and relatively low-cost opportunity to improve access to needed NH-based PC services. Assessing stakeholder perspectives on the use of this technology can help inform the selection of the proper telehealth platform to meet the clinical and infrastructure needs, as well as protocol modifications required before testing in a larger trial.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)181-185
Number of pages5
JournalPalliative Medicine Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 1 2022


  • acceptability
  • feasibility
  • nursing home
  • palliative care
  • telehealth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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