Past research has shown that patients in the hospital experience less nerve-related pain and recover more quickly when they have visitors. Now findings recently published in Pediatrics show that virtual visits are equally beneficial.
In the study, researchers at the University of California, Davis Children's Hospital analyzed the effectiveness of Family-Link, a program that provides webcams, laptops and Internet access to pediatric patients. Researchers assessed the anxiety levels of roughly 230 children who used the teleconferencing service and 135 who did not when they were admitted to the hospital and discharged using the Parent-Guardian Stress Survey. According to a Futurity post:
Overall, children who used Family-Link felt less stressed compared to those who did not use the program. The effect was even more pronounced for children who lived closer to the hospital and had shorter hospitalizations. This group experienced a 37 percent stress reduction when using Family-Link.
“This study shows that we have another tool to help children during their hospital stays,” says Yang. “The improvement in stress scores shows that Family-Link is really helping many children and might possibly be improving outcomes.”
Previously: Using the iPad to connect ill newborns, parents