208707 Training seniors how to access online health information

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 11:15 AM

Trudy Hall, MPH , Program for Multicultural Health, University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor, MI
Glenda Sneed, MS , Program for Multicultural Health, University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor, MI
More seniors are getting over their technophobia for using computers and the internet. Internet usage among American seniors jumped by 47 percent between the years 2000 and 2004, according to the Pew Internet and American Life Project. In 2004, 22 percent of seniors (age 65 and older) reported having access to the internet, up from 15 percent in 2000. This translates into approximately 8 million seniors who use the internet. To accommodate these new cyber-curious seniors, many senior centers, and retirement communities are turning to online health information workshops to assist them with reaching the digital age.

Developing a computer-based education/training workshop for seniors can be a great way to promote the value of library services and encourage the use of high-quality online health information. Seniors will learn to view the library as providing access to quality services in online health information instruction. Such instruction furthers the mission of the library to promote community outreach to vulnerable, limited English proficient (LEP) populations.

The internet and senior project will measure the internet use, computer use, general health status, and demographic stratification of seniors at a subsidized apartment complex. The seniors will take a one-time, 2-hour education/training workshop intervention designed to assist them in searching for health information resources on the internet. A convenience sample of forty seniors (age 65 and older) will be selected from a local affordable housing community. Senior participants will complete pre-post survey. The outcome of the pre-post survey will produce data for baseline and 1 month follow-up.

Learning Objectives:
(1) Design an educational/training intervention for seniors on how to search for online health resources. (2) Identify challenges and solutions associated with health interventions for limited English proficient populations. (3) Describe strategies that build sustainable practices after project completion.

Keywords: Cultural Competency, Internet

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: MPH(1992), I am the Co-Principal Investigator on the research being presented.
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.