Perceptions and needs of an outpatient palliative care team regarding digital care conferences in palliative care: a mixed-method online survey.

Ebneter, Andreas S; Maessen, Maud; Sauter, Thomas C; Jenelten, Georgette; Eychmüller, Steffen (2024). Perceptions and needs of an outpatient palliative care team regarding digital care conferences in palliative care: a mixed-method online survey. Swiss medical weekly, 154(1) SMW supporting association 10.57187/s.3487

smw-2024-3487.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution (CC-BY).

Download (2MB) | Preview


Telemedicine in palliative care (PC) is increasingly being used, especially in outpatient settings with large geographic distances. Its proven benefits include improved communication, coordination quality and time savings. However, the effect on symptom control is less evident. Whether these benefits apply to the Swiss setting and the needs of healthcare professionals (HCPs) is unknown.


To identify the perceptions and needs of healthcare professionals (nurses and physicians) regarding telemedicine (generally and specifically for care conferences) in a Swiss outpatient palliative care network.


We conducted a cross-sectional, mixed-method online survey with purposefully sampled healthcare professionals from an outpatient palliative care team as baseline data during the planning phase of a quality improvement project (digital care conferences).


Of the 251 HCPs approached, 66 responded, including nurses (n = 37) and physicians (n = 29), with an overall response rate of 26.6%. These were distributed into two groups: general palliative care HCPs (n = 48, return rate 21.3%) and specialised palliative care HCPs (n = 18, return rate 69.2%). Generally, telemedicine was perceived as useful. Potential easy access to other HCPs and hence improved communication and coordination were perceived as advantages. Barriers included a lack of acceptance and physical contact, unsolved questions about potential data breaches and technical obstacles. Regarding digital care conferences, the perceived acceptance and feasibility were good; preferred participants were the specialised palliative care HCPs (nurses and physicians), primary physicians and home care nurses, as well as the leadership of a nurse. The needs of the HCPs were as follows: (a) clear and efficient planning, (b) usability and security and (c) visual contact with the patient.


Digital care conferences are perceived as a feasible and useful tool by healthcare professionals in a local palliative care network in Switzerland. A pilot phase will be the next step towards systematic integration of this telemedicine modality into outpatient palliative care.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Intensive Care, Emergency Medicine and Anaesthesiology (DINA) > University Emergency Center
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Haematology, Oncology, Infectious Diseases, Laboratory Medicine and Hospital Pharmacy (DOLS) > Clinic of Radiation Oncology

UniBE Contributor:

Ebneter, Andreas Samuel, Maessen, Maud, Sauter, Thomas Christian, Eychmüller, Steffen


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




SMW supporting association




Pubmed Import

Date Deposited:

10 Apr 2024 09:10

Last Modified:

10 Apr 2024 09:19

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:





Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback