Evaluating Patient Perception of the Virtual Therapy Specialist Using a Caring Assessment Tool Post Negative Pressure Wound Therapy with Remote Therapy Monitoring
Nonadherence to negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) may preempt its effectiveness. Integrating remote therapy monitoring (RTM*) with NPWT† (NPWTRTM) has been reported to impact adherence behavior, reduce therapy duration, limit 90-day wound-related costs and effectively address obstacles to adherence.1-4 Whether Virtual Therapy Specialists (VTS‡), who manage RTM, may foster a relationship and influence patient experience and adherence is unknown. The objective of this study is to qualitatively evaluate patient perceptions of VTS-managed interactions to improve NPWTRTM adherence at home. A 12-question anonymous survey concerning patient perception of VTS was administered via Survey Monkey®. Respondents were prior NPWTRTM recipients, had VTS interactions during NPWTRTM, and completed a post NPWTRTM exit survey. The Caring Assessment Tool (CAT) with 3 domains (4 question/domain) was adapted and rated on a 10-point scale (1=Strongly disagree to 10=Strongly agree).5 Respondent age group and comments were also captured. Eighty-two respondents participated. Domains 1 and 3 had a 100% response rate. Domain 2 had a 97.6% response rate. Respondent age groups were: 20-30 (4.88%), 31-40 (12.20%), 41-50 (12.20%), 51-60 (20.73%), 61-70 (30.49%), and >70 (19.51%). Concerning emotional support, respondents “agreed” or “strongly agreed” (rated 6-10) the VTS acknowledged feelings (82.94%), inquired about their well-being (91.25%), made them feel comfortable (86.60%) and assuaged concerns (75.62%). On communication, respondents “agreed” or “strongly agreed” (rated 6-10) the VTS paid attention (88.75%), listened attentively (86.25%), encouraged/answered questions (87.50%) and patiently addressed concerns (87.19%). Regarding competency, respondents “agreed” or “strongly agreed” (rated 6-10) the VTS clarified NPWTRTM information (87.82%), could troubleshoot NPWTRTM issues (86.60%), anticipated patient needs (79.27%) and assisted clinicians with approaches to NPWTRTM (52.50%). In measuring caring, our results suggest respondents were generally positive of VTS empathy and competency with NPWTRTM, and that respondents’ perception of feeling “cared for” may improve coping, adherence and yield beneficial
*iOn PROGRESS™ Remote Therapy Monitoring, †ACTIV.A.C.™ Therapy System, ‡iOn PROGRESS™ Care Network (KCI, now part of 3M Company, San Antonio, TX)
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