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Safety vs. privacy : elderly persons' experiences of a mobile safety alarm

Melander-Wikman, Anita; Fältholm, Ylva and Gard, Gunvor (2008) In Health and Social Care in the Community 16(4). p.46-337
Abstract

The demographic development indicates an increased elderly population in Sweden in the future. One of the greatest challenges for a society with an ageing population is to provide high-quality health and social care. New information and communication technology and services can be used to further improve health care. To enable elderly persons to stay at home as long as possible, various kinds of technology, such as safety alarms, are used at home. The aim of this study was to describe the experiences of elderly persons through testing a mobile safety alarm and their reasoning about safety, privacy and mobility. The mobile safety alarm tested was a prototype in development. Five elderly persons with functional limitations and four... (More)

The demographic development indicates an increased elderly population in Sweden in the future. One of the greatest challenges for a society with an ageing population is to provide high-quality health and social care. New information and communication technology and services can be used to further improve health care. To enable elderly persons to stay at home as long as possible, various kinds of technology, such as safety alarms, are used at home. The aim of this study was to describe the experiences of elderly persons through testing a mobile safety alarm and their reasoning about safety, privacy and mobility. The mobile safety alarm tested was a prototype in development. Five elderly persons with functional limitations and four healthy elderly persons from a pensioner's organisation tested the alarm. The mobile alarm with a drop sensor and a positioning device was tested for 6 weeks. This intervention was evaluated with qualitative interviews, and analysed with latent content analysis. The result showed four main categories: feeling safe, being positioned and supervised, being mobile, and reflecting on new technology. From these categories, the overarching category 'Safety and mobility are more important than privacy' emerged. The mobile safety alarm was perceived to offer an increased opportunity for mobility in terms of being more active and as an aid for self-determination. The fact that the informants were located by means of the positioning device was not experienced as violating privacy as long as they could decide how to use the alarm. It was concluded that this mobile safety alarm was experienced as a tool to be active and mobile. As a way to keep self-determination and empowerment, the individual has to make a 'cost-benefit' analysis where privacy is sacrificed to the benefit of mobility and safety. The participants were actively contributing to the development process.

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author
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Aged, Equipment and Supplies, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Privacy, Safety, Sweden, Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
in
Health and Social Care in the Community
volume
16
issue
4
pages
10 pages
publisher
Wiley-Blackwell
external identifiers
  • scopus:45749133461
ISSN
0966-0410
DOI
10.1111/j.1365-2524.2007.00743.x
language
English
LU publication?
no
id
25c3ebfb-e7a8-4546-a68e-45fe13085d45
date added to LUP
2016-12-23 11:40:28
date last changed
2017-10-01 05:28:05
@article{25c3ebfb-e7a8-4546-a68e-45fe13085d45,
  abstract     = {<p>The demographic development indicates an increased elderly population in Sweden in the future. One of the greatest challenges for a society with an ageing population is to provide high-quality health and social care. New information and communication technology and services can be used to further improve health care. To enable elderly persons to stay at home as long as possible, various kinds of technology, such as safety alarms, are used at home. The aim of this study was to describe the experiences of elderly persons through testing a mobile safety alarm and their reasoning about safety, privacy and mobility. The mobile safety alarm tested was a prototype in development. Five elderly persons with functional limitations and four healthy elderly persons from a pensioner's organisation tested the alarm. The mobile alarm with a drop sensor and a positioning device was tested for 6 weeks. This intervention was evaluated with qualitative interviews, and analysed with latent content analysis. The result showed four main categories: feeling safe, being positioned and supervised, being mobile, and reflecting on new technology. From these categories, the overarching category 'Safety and mobility are more important than privacy' emerged. The mobile safety alarm was perceived to offer an increased opportunity for mobility in terms of being more active and as an aid for self-determination. The fact that the informants were located by means of the positioning device was not experienced as violating privacy as long as they could decide how to use the alarm. It was concluded that this mobile safety alarm was experienced as a tool to be active and mobile. As a way to keep self-determination and empowerment, the individual has to make a 'cost-benefit' analysis where privacy is sacrificed to the benefit of mobility and safety. The participants were actively contributing to the development process.</p>},
  author       = {Melander-Wikman, Anita and Fältholm, Ylva and Gard, Gunvor},
  issn         = {0966-0410},
  keyword      = {Aged,Equipment and Supplies,Female,Humans,Male,Middle Aged,Privacy,Safety,Sweden,Journal Article,Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {4},
  pages        = {46--337},
  publisher    = {Wiley-Blackwell},
  series       = {Health and Social Care in the Community},
  title        = {Safety vs. privacy : elderly persons' experiences of a mobile safety alarm},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2524.2007.00743.x},
  volume       = {16},
  year         = {2008},
}