Healthcare professionals' experiences and views of eHealth in pediatric care: qualitative interview study applying a theoretical framework for implementation

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Objective: This study aims to investigate the perspectives and insights of health care professionals (HCPs) regarding the implementation of an eHealth intervention in pediatric health care while applying the NASSS framework to theorize and evaluate the conditions influencing the implementation of eHealth solutions.

Methods: Semistructured interviews were performed with health care providers, including both staff and management personnel, within a university pediatric hospital (N=10). The data collection process occurred concurrently with a clinical trial focused on developing and assessing an eHealth app for self-management in pediatric care following hospital discharge. Using an abductive approach, the interviews were initially analyzed qualitatively and subsequently mapped onto the 7 domains of the NASSS framework to identify factors influencing implementation, encompassing facilitators, barriers, and varying levels of complexity.

Results: In the realm of pediatric care, the family was identified as the primary unit of care, and patient heterogeneity was a prominent feature. The implementation of eHealth tools, while deemed usable and flexible, was also seen as a delicate balance between safety and adaptability, highlighting challenges related to health care integration. Child participation and secrecy, especially for adolescents, contributed to the complexity of using eHealth. HCPs had high eHealth literacy, and thus challenges concerning adoption were related to work adaptations and the risk of “app overload.” The readiness for implementation was experienced as induced through the research study and the pandemic situation. However, to move from research to implementation in clinical practice, organizational challenges identified a need to update the concept of care and ensure activity measurements. In a wider context, HCPs raised concerns related to regulatory requirements for documentation, public procurement, and data safety. Implementation became more complex due to a lack of overview in a large organization.

Conclusions: Important perspectives for implementation were considerations of regulatory requirements, as well as the need for a shared vision of eHealth and the establishment of eHealth-related work as part of regular health care. Key contextual factors that support reach and impact are communication channels between different levels at the hospital and a need for paths and procedures compatible with legal, technological, and security concerns. Further research should focus on how eHealth interventions are perceived by children, adolescents, their parents, and other stakeholders.

Trial Registration: NCT04150120;
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere47663
JournalJMIR Pediatrics and Parenting
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Oct 18

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Pediatrics
  • Health Care Service and Management, Health Policy and Services and Health Economy


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