A Formative Mixed-Methods Study of Emotional Responsiveness in Telepalliative Care

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Journal of palliative medicine


It is unknown whether telemedicine-delivered palliative care (tele-PC) supports emotionally responsive patient-clinician interactions. We conducted a mixed-methods formative study at two academic medical centers in rural U.S. states to explore the acceptability, feasibility, and emotional responsiveness of tele-PC. We assessed clinicians' emotional responsiveness through questionnaires, qualitative interviews, and video coding. We completed 11 tele-PC consultations. Mean age was 71 years, 30% did not complete high school, 55% experienced at least moderate financial insecurity, and 2/3 rated their overall health poorly. All patients rated tele-PC as equal to, or better than, in-person PC at providing emotional support. There was a tendency toward higher positive and lower negative emotions following the consultation. Video coding identified 114 instances of patients expressing emotions, and clinicians detected and responded to 98% of these events. Tele-PC appears to support emotionally responsive patient-clinician interactions. A mixed-methods approach to evaluating tele-PC yields useful, complementary insights.


Ava Daruvala- Resident

Liam John- Resident