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Table 7 Perceived advantages and drawbacks of having internet access in patient care rooms

From: Keep in touch (KIT): perspectives on introducing internet-based communication and information technologies in palliative care

Patients and Family
Advantages:
 • Not having to leave the patient’s room to use the computer. One patient said “The challenge is that I don’t always feel up to writing on the computer and when I do feel up to it, it’s more difficult to leave my room…have to put on my dressing gown and shoes…”
 • Feeling more connected to the world with easy access to family and friends without leaving the room
 • Reduced boredom
 • Able to communicate right away before losing concentration
 • Easier to deal with phone calls and email before going home
 • Staying by the patient’s bedside while keeping the rest of family and friends updated
 • Convenience
 • “I could show my Mom (patient) things on the internet”
Drawbacks:
 • Inappropriate use of the internet by family members or unsupervised children
 • Noise for the patient
 • Tying up staff time with questions about the computer
 • Family members focusing on the computer rather than on the patient
Health Care Providers
Advantages:
 • Improved psychosocial wellness, less boredom, decreased feelings of isolation, decreased separation anxiety especially for parents with children
 • Feelings of support from family and friends
 • Distraction from illness
 • Boosting spirit, feeling better emotionally
 • Finding groups who have the same illness
 • “See places you have always wanted to see”
Drawbacks:
 • Patients accessing incorrect or misleading information related to their health
 • Noise for the patient
 • Family members paying more attention to the computer than to the patient or fewer in-person visits
 • Demands on staff time for trouble-shooting related to the technology
 • Equipment damage or loss
 • Accessing inappropriate websites
 • Additional “clutter” in the room