Karine Latulippe, BSc, MSc, is a doctoral candidate in Educational Technology at Laval University. Her undergraduate training in occupational therapy, first of all, allowed her to gain a rich professional experience of over 15 years with adult patients and seniors. Subsequently, his graduate training in Organizational Management has equipped her in project management with a specialization in organizational change. She has worked on several projects to fight against poverty and social inequalities in health. She has also been involved in the development of an online teaching tool on clinical reasoning during her years of teaching at Laval University’s Department of Rehabilitation. She is currently coordinating two multi-centre projects, including one at the provincial level and co-investigator for two other research projects. The convergence of her skills, her experience and her interests led her to study the social inequalities of health exacerbated by e-health and make her the doctorate’s subject. She is a triple fellow (FRQS-SRAP Support Unit, AGE-WELL, CERSSPL-UL Strategic Research Development Fund Grant) and has received the RQRV 2017–2018 Research Excellence Award. Specifically, her doctoral project focuses on the integration of positive conversion factors and the codesign approach as a democratic tool in the development of an eHealth tool for caregivers of elderly people. She aspires to an academic and research career and wishes to continue her research program on the themes of social justice, e-health, gerontechnology, codesign and mixed approaches.
Development of an eHealth Tool to Improve Caregivers’ Help-Seeking Process: A Combination of Three Qualitative Methods Which Include Caregivers.
Introduction: Caregivers are at risk of health inequalities through their role and those less inclined to seek information and use services are those most at risk of health inequalities. The help-seeking process is an important aspect of whether or not people choose to use an eHealth tool.
Objectives: 1- To understand caregivers’ help-seeking process; and 2- To integrate this process in the development of an eHealth tool for them.
Methodology: First, caregivers’ help-seeking process was rapidly reviewed in the literature. Then, 15 caregivers of older people expressed their help-seeking process during semi-structured interviews. Finally, the integration of caregivers’ help-seeking process into an eHealth tool was explored by a co-design approach with eleven groups composed of caregivers, health professionals, community groups and researchers. All data were analyzed by thematic analysis.
Results: The caregiver’s help-seeking process differs, depending on whether the older person had a progressive disease (like dementia) or experienced an abrupt event (like a cerebrovascular accident). In the latter case, services are installed before discharge and changes are made. In the case of progressive disease, however, the main triggers of caregivers’ help-seeking process are symptoms of exhaustion. For many, it was another person (ex. family, friend, other caregivers, neighbours) that encouraged them to seek out services to support them in their role. Thus, an eHealth tool for caregivers needs to incorporate symptoms of exhaustion, and target a wider audience than merely the caregivers themselves.
Conclusion: Including the knowledge of caregivers’ help-seeking process in the development of an eHealth tool for them is vital in developing an inclusive and efficient tool.