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04-03-2021 | Original Paper | Issue 3/2021 Open Access

Health and Technology 3/2021

Exploring the acceptance of telehealth within palliative care: A self-determination theory perspective

Health and Technology > Issue 3/2021
Joseph Keenan, Rachel Rahman, Joanne Hudson


The aim of this paper was to explore potential divergence and convergence in relation to health care professionals’ and patients’ acceptability of the use of telehealth within palliative care provision through the lens of Self-Determination Theory. The research utilized a deductive qualitative approach utilizing semi-structured interviews to explore divergence and convergence between health care professionals’ preconceptions of the use of telehealth in palliative care and the lived experiences of patients accessing support in this manner. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with both professionals and patients to explore whether the barriers and benefits of telehealth perceived by professionals corresponded to the patient’s lived experience of utilizing the technology in their palliative care. Interviews were analyzed using a deductive thematic analysis. Professionals and patients identified that the use of telehealth could satisfy the need for autonomy, however this manifested in different ways. Greater divergence was apparent between patient and professional perceptions about how telehealth could satisfy the need for relatedness and competence needs. The findings of this paper highlight how professionals preconceived concerns about the use of telehealth in relation to providing supportive palliative care may not be realized when exploring the experiences of patients accessing services through this medium. This paper highlights the important role of psychological need satisfaction when considering acceptability of telehealth, and motivation to engage in the implementation of technologically driven health services.
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