204137 Can Older Adults Successfully use Internet Based Health Information?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Chin Chin Lee, MS, MSPH , Center on Aging, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL
Josehp Sharit, PhD , Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL
Sankaran N. Nair, MS , Center on Aging, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL
Mario A. Hernandez, MS , Center on Aging, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL
David R. Kaufman, PhD , Department of Biomedical Informatics, Columbia University, New York, NY
Sara J. Czaja, PhD , Cetner on Aging, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL
The Internet is becoming a popular resource for consumers who need health information. In 2006, 113 million adults searched online for information on topics related to diseases, medical treatments, and health insurance. One concern relates to the ability of people who are not “medical specialists” to find, comprehend, and integration information that is available online. This concern is particularity important to older adults as they are likely to be in need of and seek medical care and assistance. This paper will present findings from a series of studies examining the ability of older adults to find and interpret Internet-based health information. Data regarding perceptions of usability and trust in e-health information will also be presented. Overall, the data indicate that older adults, especially those with lower health literacy have difficulty finding and interpreting Internet-based health information and reported problems with the usability of e-health websites. However, our data also indicate that older people perceive the Internet to be a valuable source of health information and that they would use the Internet to find information about medical related issues. These findings are discussed in terms of the implications for training and Interface design. In addition, we will also present data from a study that is examining the effectiveness of a training intervention designed to teach lower SES older adults basic skills to navigate and search information on the Internet, and to evaluate and determine the reliability of e-health websites.

Learning Objectives:
• List the needs of older adults in successfully using and integrating Internet-based health information • Identify the training and designed guidelines to improve the usability of e-health websites by older adults • Describe the role of health literacy in using Internet-based health information by older adults

Keywords: Health Information Systems, Health Literacy

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Involved in the designed, coordinate, planning, and data analysis.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

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