Design of an Integrated Acceptance Framework for Older Users and eHealth: Influential Factor Analysis

J Med Internet Res. 2022 Jan 28;24(1):e31920. doi: 10.2196/31920.


Background: eHealth and telehealth play a crucial role in assisting older adults who visit hospitals frequently or who live in nursing homes and can benefit from staying at home while being cared for. Adapting to new technologies can be difficult for older people. Thus, to better apply these technologies to older adults' lives, many studies have analyzed the acceptance factors for this particular population. However, there is not yet a consensual framework that can be used in further development and to search for solutions.

Objective: This paper aims to present an integrated acceptance framework (IAF) for older users' acceptance of eHealth based on 43 studies selected through a systematic review.

Methods: We conducted a 4-step study. First, through a systematic review in the field of eHealth from 2010 to 2020, the acceptance factors and basic data for analysis were extracted. Second, we conducted a thematic analysis to group the factors into themes to propose an integrated framework for acceptance. Third, we defined a metric to evaluate the impact of the factors addressed in the studies. Finally, the differences among the important IAF factors were analyzed according to the participants' health conditions, verification time, and year.

Results: Through a systematic review, 731 studies were found in 5 major databases, resulting in 43 (5.9%) selected studies using the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Item for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) methodology. First, the research methods and acceptance factors for eHealth were compared and analyzed, extracting a total of 105 acceptance factors, which were grouped later, resulting in an IAF. A total of 5 dimensions (ie, personal, user-technology relational, technological, service-related, and environmental) emerged, with a total of 23 factors. In addition, we assessed the quality of evidence and then conducted a stratification analysis to reveal the more appropriate factors depending on the health condition and assessment time. Finally, we assessed the factors and dimensions that have recently become more important.

Conclusions: The result of this investigation is a framework for conducting research on eHealth acceptance. To elaborately analyze the impact of the factors of the proposed framework, the criteria for evaluating the evidence from the studies that have the extracted factors are presented. Through this process, the impact of each factor in the IAF has been presented, in addition to the framework proposal. Moreover, a meta-analysis of the current status of research is presented, highlighting the areas where specific measures are needed to facilitate eHealth acceptance.

Keywords: acceptance factors; acceptance framework; adoption; eHealth; health technology; influential factor analysis; mobile phone; older people; older user; systematic review; thematic analysis.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Humans
  • Nursing Homes
  • Research Design
  • Technology
  • Telemedicine* / methods