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Table of Contents
Vol. 58, No. 2, 2012
Issue release date: February 2012
Section title: Regenerative and Technological Section / Original Paper
Gerontology 2012;58:164–170
(DOI:10.1159/000329340)

Health-Related Internet Use in Older Primary Care Patients

Crabb R.M. · Rafie S. · Weingardt K.R.
aGeriatric Research Education and Clinical Center, Veterans Administration Palo Alto Health Care System and bPacific Graduate School of Psychology, Palo Alto University, Palo Alto, Calif., and cCenter for Health Care Evaluation, Veterans Administration Palo Alto Health Care System and Stanford University School of Medicine, Menlo Park, Calif., USA

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Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Regenerative and Technological Section / Original Paper

Received: 11/19/2010 8:51:21 AM
Accepted: 5/11/2011
Published online: 7/5/2011

Number of Print Pages: 7
Number of Figures: 0
Number of Tables: 2

ISSN: 0304-324X (Print)
eISSN: 1423-0003 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/GER

Abstract

Background: Adults aged 65 years and older stand to benefit from the accumulating wealth of Internet-based health resources, including online interventions to assist in the self-management of chronic health conditions. However, concerns have been expressed that lesser Internet use and familiarity among older adults may limit the utility of web-based health interventions in older age groups. As these interventions become more prevalent, it is important to understand older adults’ receptivity to using the Internet as a tool in managing healthcare. Objective: The purpose of the present study was to gauge the extent to which older primary care patients are receptive to using web-based health resources, and to explore how health-related Internet use may be related to patient characteristics such as age, income, and health and mental health status. Methods: We surveyed 50 adults aged 65 years and older in a Veterans Administration primary care clinic regarding: (1) Internet use for any purpose, (2) Internet use to obtain health or mental-related information, and (3) interest in using Internet-based interventions to address various health-related needs. A substantial proportion of respondents were in their 70s, 80s, and 90s, and many had multiple medical conditions. Results: Nearly three-quarters of older primary care patients in our sample were regular Internet users and over half had experience in using the Internet to search for health information. The majority of Internet users endorsed an interest in using web-based resources to manage various aspects of their health and mental healthcare. Conclusions: Our results support the conclusion that older primary care patients, including those among the oldest-old and those with multiple medical conditions, are amenable to using the Internet as a means of enhancing healthcare.


Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Regenerative and Technological Section / Original Paper

Received: 11/19/2010 8:51:21 AM
Accepted: 5/11/2011
Published online: 7/5/2011

Number of Print Pages: 7
Number of Figures: 0
Number of Tables: 2

ISSN: 0304-324X (Print)
eISSN: 1423-0003 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/GER


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Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in goverment regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
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