Technology Learning and the Adoption of Telehealth Among Community-Dwelling Older Adults During the COVID-19 Outbreak

J Appl Gerontol. 2022 Jul;41(7):1651-1656. doi: 10.1177/07334648221085473. Epub 2022 Mar 8.


The present study aims to examine changes in the prevalence of telehealth utilization in older adults before and during the COVID-19 outbreak, and to investigate the relationship between learning a new technology and the adoption of telehealth during the outbreak. The study sample came from the National Health and Aging Trend Study COVID-19 Supplement (N=1769). The adoption of telehealth was assessed for utilization of emails and video calls to communicate with healthcare providers. Logistic regressions were performed to test the study aims. The findings showed that older adults substantially increased the utilization of telehealth during the outbreak. Additionally, learning a new technology is related to the adoption of both emails and video calls to access telehealth. The findings suggest that older adults may be motivated and able to quickly learn a new technology that is required to access telehealth during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Keywords: COVID-19; older adults; remote healthcare; technology learning; telehealth.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • COVID-19* / epidemiology
  • Disease Outbreaks
  • Humans
  • Independent Living
  • Technology
  • Telemedicine*