J. Med. Internet Res. - Computer skills and internet use in adults aged 50-74 years: influence of hearing difficulties.

Tópicos

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Resumo

CKGROUND: The use of personal computers (PCs) and the Internet to provide health care information and interventions has increased substantially over the past decade. Yet the effectiveness of such an approach is highly dependent upon whether the target population has both access and the skill set required to use this technology. This is particularly relevant in the delivery of hearing health care because most people with hearing loss are over 50 years (average age for initial hearing aid fitting is 74 years). Although PC skill and Internet use by demographic factors have been examined previously, data do not currently exist that examine the effects of hearing difficulties on PC skill or Internet use in older adults.OBJECTIVE: To explore the effect that hearing difficulty has on PC skill and Internet use in an opportunistic sample of adults aged 50-74 years.METHODS: Postal questionnaires about hearing difficulty, PC skill, and Internet use (n=3629) were distributed to adults aged 50-74 years through three family physician practices in Nottingham, United Kingdom. A subsample of 84 respondents completed a second detailed questionnaire on confidence in using a keyboard, mouse, and track pad. Summed scores were termed the "PC confidence index." The PC confidence index was used to verify the PC skill categories in the postal questionnaire (ie, never used a computer, beginner, and competent).RESULTS: The postal questionnaire response rate was 36.78% (1298/3529) and 95.15% (1235/1298) of these contained complete information. There was a significant between-category difference for PC skill by PC confidence index (P<.001), thus verifying the three-category PC skill scale. PC and Internet use was greater in the younger respondents (50-62 years) than in the older respondents (63-74 years). The younger group's PC and Internet use was 81.0% and 60.9%, respectively; the older group's PC and Internet use was 54.0% and 29.8%, respectively. Those with slight hearing difficulties in the older group had significantly greater odds of PC use compared to those with no hearing difficulties (odds ratio [OR]=1.57, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.06-2.30, P=.02). Those with moderate+ hearing difficulties had lower odds of PC use compared with those with no hearing difficulties, both overall (OR=0.58, 95% CI 0.39-0.87, P=.008) and in the younger group (OR=0.49, 95% CI 0.26-0.86, P=.008). Similar results were demonstrated for Internet use by age group (older: OR=1.57, 95% CI 0.99-2.47, P=.05; younger: OR=0.32, 95% CI 0.16-0.62, P=.001).CONCLUSIONS: Hearing health care is of particular relevance to older adults because of the prevalence of age-related hearing loss. Our data show that older adults experiencing slight hearing difficulty have increased odds of greater PC skill and Internet use than those reporting no difficulty. These findings suggest that PC and Internet delivery of hearing screening, information, and intervention is feasible for people between 50-74 years who have hearing loss, but who would not typically present to an audiologist.

Resumo Limpo

ckground use person comput pcs internet provid health care inform intervent increas substanti past decad yet effect approach high depend upon whether target popul access skill set requir use technolog particular relev deliveri hear health care peopl hear loss year averag age initi hear aid fit year although pc skill internet use demograph factor examin previous data current exist examin effect hear difficulti pc skill internet use older adultsobject explor effect hear difficulti pc skill internet use opportunist sampl adult age yearsmethod postal questionnair hear difficulti pc skill internet use n distribut adult age year three famili physician practic nottingham unit kingdom subsampl respond complet second detail questionnair confid use keyboard mous track pad sum score term pc confid index pc confid index use verifi pc skill categori postal questionnair ie never use comput beginn competentresult postal questionnair respons rate contain complet inform signific betweencategori differ pc skill pc confid index p thus verifi threecategori pc skill scale pc internet use greater younger respond year older respond year younger group pc internet use respect older group pc internet use respect slight hear difficulti older group signific greater odd pc use compar hear difficulti odd ratio confid interv ci p moder hear difficulti lower odd pc use compar hear difficulti overal ci p younger group ci p similar result demonstr internet use age group older ci p younger ci pconclus hear health care particular relev older adult preval agerel hear loss data show older adult experienc slight hear difficulti increas odd greater pc skill internet use report difficulti find suggest pc internet deliveri hear screen inform intervent feasibl peopl year hear loss typic present audiologist

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