Evidence for person-centeredness in telehealth research
This paper describes person-centred care and distinguishes it from person-centred medicine and patient-centred care. Three characteristics of person-centeredness are drawn from human subjects research principles: respect, benefit and justice. Using reports of telehealth research involving people with diabetes, an exploratory assessment of the methods was done to look for descriptors and processes that would contribute to evidence for the identified characteristics of person-centeredness. Reports from fourteen studies were explored. The study methods and results had great variability; four of the 14 studies used a descriptive design and five studies used a design that included randomization. From a person-centred perspective, respect of study participants could be seen in their willingness to aid, when asked, in the development of intervention approaches and they were grateful for personal attention. Benefit could be seen in that participants responded positively to the offer of improved diabetic self-management and overall better health. As evidence of justice or fairness, telehealth researchers described using various and wide-ranging methods for inviting people comprising populations to become research participants. The triad of concepts may provide guidance for the improvement of research involving people with diabetes.
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