Readiness to accept health information and communication technologies: A population-based survey of community-dwelling older adults

Int J Med Inform. 2019 Oct;130:103950. doi: 10.1016/j.ijmedinf.2019.08.010. Epub 2019 Aug 16.


Introduction: The development of health information and communication technologies (HICTs) could modify the quality and cost of healthcare services delivered to an aging population. However, the acceptance of HICTs - a prerequisite for users to benefit from them - remains a challenge. This population-based study aimed to 1) explore the acceptance of HICTs by community-dwelling older adults as well as the factors associated to the overall acceptance/refusal of HICTs; 2) identify the factors associated with confidentiality (i.e., access to data allowed to physicians only versus to all caregivers) in the subgroup of older adults willing to accept HICTs.

Methods: A total of 3195 community-dwelling 69-83 year-old members of the Lausanne cohort 65+ were included. In 2017, participants filled out a 9-item questionnaire to assess their acceptance of HICTs ("yes without reluctance"; "yes but with reluctance"; "no"). A bivariate analysis was conducted to examine gender and age differences in the acceptance of HICTs. A multivariable logistic regression was performed to model 1) accepting all or rejecting all HICTs items; 2) willing to share HICTs items with physicians only versus all caregivers.

Results: The answer "acceptance without reluctance" ranged from 26.4% to 70.4% across HICTs and was the most frequent answer to six out of nine HICT items. For every HICT item, the acceptance rate decreased across age categories in women. Overall, 20.2% accepted all the HICTs without reluctance and 9.9% rejected them all. Older age and a lower level of education were significantly associated with both accepting all HICTs without reluctance (OR = 0.78 and OR = 0.65, respectively) and rejecting all HICTs (OR = 1.54 and OR = 2.89, respectively). Women and participants with health vulnerability (depressive symptoms, difficulty in activities of daily living (ADLs)) were less likely to accept data accessibility to non-physicians.

Conclusion: Acceptance of HICTs was relatively high. To deploy HICTs in the older population, demographic, socioeconomic and health profiles, alongside confidentiality concerns, should be considered.

Keywords: Acceptance; Community-dwelling older adults; Health information and communication technologies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Independent Living / psychology*
  • Information Technology / statistics & numerical data*
  • Male
  • Medical Informatics / statistics & numerical data*
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / psychology*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Population Surveillance
  • Surveys and Questionnaires