Video communication as a tool for psychosocial support for people recovering from severe mental disorder: social workers’ experiences
Claus Ugilt Oestergaard, Birthe Dinesen
Background: This paper focuses on a Danish social tele-rehabilitation project, which uses video technologies to support mentally ill citizens in their recovery process in their homes. The aim of the study is to explore how social workers experience using video communication as part of a tele-social-rehabilitation program aimed at citizens discharged from a psychiatric hospital and lives in their own home with mental disorders recovering from a mental illness.
Methods: The research strategy in this study is the case study method. Data collection techniques for the case study were based on triangulation of several data sources, such as analysis of relevant documents, participant observation and qualitative interviews with clients and with social workers assisting citizens in their recovery process.
Results: The social workers stated that video technology gave them the opportunity to make changes in their working practices with the citizens. They also felt they were better able to meet the citizens’ need to improve their everyday lives. The social workers found that video technology was less intrusive than a physical visit to the citizen’s home. The technology helps to promote the client’s recovery process.
Conclusions: The social workers who used video technology in a tele-social-rehabilitation program experienced a community of practice, changes in their work routine and changes in the way they carried out social rehabilitation for clients in their recovery following discharge from mental hospital.