Doing gender in the context of telenursing: Analyses of authentic calls to a telenursing site in Sweden

Roya Hakimnia, Marianne Carlsson, Anna T. Höglund, Inger K. Holmström


Introduction: Aim: The aim of the present study was to analyze authentic health calls to a telenursing site in Sweden regardingreasons for calling and outcome of the calls with focus on a gender perspective. Background: Telephone advice nursing isan expanding service in many Western countries. In Sweden, all regions are now connected to a national telenursing service.Healthcare in Sweden is stipulated by law to be equitable. This includes the teleursing service, which is a new actor in Swedishhealthcare system, and which often is a citizen’s first contact with healthcare.

Methods: The study had a descriptive and comparative design. 800 authentic calls to SHD were analysed regarding reasons forcalling, and outcome of the calls.

Results: The results showed that men, and especially fathers, received more referrals to general practitioners than women. Themost common caller was a woman fluent in Swedish (64%), and the least likely caller was a man non-fluent in Swedish (3%).All in all, 70% of the callers were women. When the calls concerned children, 78% of the callers were female. In total, 9% ofthe calls were made by a man calling for another person. Callers were predominately young (mean age 29 years for women and33 for men).

Conclusions: It is important that telenursing does not become a “feminine” activity, only suitable for young callers fluent inSwedish. Given the telenurses’ gatekeeping role, there is a risk that differences on this first level of health care can be reproducedthroughout the whole healthcare system. In striving for more equitable telenursing services, future research might investigate ifcampaigns encouraging men to call, and more frequent use of translators could enhance access to telenursing services.

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Clinical Nursing Studies
ISSN 2324-7940(Print)   ISSN 2324-7959(Online)

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