Title: Videophone to improve communication between intellectual handicapped and their relatives

Authors: Melinda M.C.E. Deverson; Ton A.M. Spil; Lisette J.E.W.C. Van Gemert-Pijnen

Addresses: Department of Health Sciences, Faculty of Management and Governance, University of Twente, Prinsenstraat 67, 7607 JS Almelo, The Netherlands. ' Department of Information Systems and Change Management, Faculty of Management and Governance, University of Twente, P.O. Box 217, 7500 AE Enschede, The Netherlands. ' Department of Psychology, Health and Technology, Faculty of Behavioural Sciences, University of Twente, P.O. Box 217, 7500 AE Enschede, The Netherlands

Abstract: The aim of this study is to evaluate the use of a videophone by people with an intellectual handicap and their relatives at a healthcare organisation in the Netherlands. A triangulation of methods is used. The first method was a questionnaire (pre-study) were 195 clients and 439 client representatives participated in a satisfaction survey from the healthcare organisation. Out of this satisfaction survey, approximately 30% (N = 116 out of N = 374 reactions) identified concerns related to communication. Secondly, a literature study was carried out using Pubmed database. Eleven publications were selected. Finally, based on the pre-study and the literature an experiment was performed in which the videophone was evaluated. Two clients and two relatives used the videophone for approximately two months. The data supported the use of the videophone with intellectual handicapped and their relatives to improve communication. The addition of visual non-verbal cues and the fixed place of the videophone enhanced social presence, the concentration, the duration and the quality of the conversation. In general, the videophone was easy to use, but the sound and screen quality of the videophone could be improved to support communication.

Keywords: e-health; videophones; disabled people; usability; electronic healthcare; intellectual handicapped; The Netherlands; communication improvement; mobile communications; visual cues; non-verbal cues; social presence; sound quality; screen quality.

DOI: 10.1504/IJNVO.2012.048347

International Journal of Networking and Virtual Organisations, 2012 Vol.11 No.2, pp.107 - 141

Published online: 16 Aug 2014 *

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