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Niels Christian M Nickelsen

The infrastructure of psychological proximity: enactments of skillfulness in telemedicine

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Main arguments: Telemedicine offers unique opportunities to improve the accessibility of health services. It is defined as diagnosis, treatment and monitoring among doctors, nurses and patients separated by spaces, but mediated through information and communication technologies (Mort & May, 2003). The experience of psychological proximity between patient and nurse is provided through confidence, continuity and the practical set-up. This constitutes an important enactment of skillfulness, which may render telemedicine a convincing health service in the future. Methodology: The study draws on a pilot project in 2014 at four hospitals in Copenhagen in relation to 120 patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary syndrome. The material embraces 1) 13 transcribed interviews with nurses and medical doctors 2) two plenary sessions with nurses across hospitals, where photos and diaries were discussed 3) observation of 20 videoconferences 4) Desk research. Contribution to the literature: Proximity mediated by telemedicine has already been treated in the literature (Nicolini, 2011, Gherardi, 2010). Mort et al (2003) argues that telemedicine broadens professional agency since the professionals undertake diagnostic work when patients are not physically present (275). Oudshoorn argues that nurses need to learn to calm patients and help them to see the utility of measurements (2008, 279). Langstrup & Winthereik argues that it is pivotal to offer instruction with regard to the application of the technology (Langstrup & Winthereik 2008). This study contributes by showing the infrastructure of psychological proximity, which is provided by way of device, confidence, continuity and accountability.
Original languageEnglish
Publication year11 Nov 2015
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 11 Nov 2015
Event4S Annual Meeting - Denver, Colorado, United States
Duration: 11 Nov 201514 Nov 2015

Conference

Conference4S Annual Meeting
CountryUnited States
CityDenver, Colorado
Period11/11/201514/11/2015

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