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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(10), 4645-4666; doi:10.3390/ijerph10104645

Use or Non-Use of Gerontechnology—A Qualitative Study

Department of Systems Engineering and Engineering Management, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 21 August 2013 / Revised: 12 September 2013 / Accepted: 22 September 2013 / Published: 30 September 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Care for Old People)
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This study employed a qualitative approach to explore the attitudes and experiences of older people towards using gerontechnology, and to determine the underlying reasons that might account for their use and non-use of gerontechnology. Four focus group discussions and 26 individual interviews were undertaken. Qualitative data were analyzed using NVivo software and were categorized using coding and grounded theory techniques. The result indicated that old people in Hong Kong had an overall positive attitude toward technology. Positive attitudes were most frequently related to enhanced convenience and advanced features. Negative attitudes were most frequently associated with health risks and social problems arising from using technology (e.g., social isolation and addiction). Usage of technology is driven by outcome expectations and social influences, and supported by facilitators, whereas non-use of gerontechnology relates to the personal (e.g., health and functional capacities), technological (e.g., cost and complexity), and environmental barriers experienced. Use of gerontechnology is a synthesis of person, technology, and environment. To encourage non-users to adopt technology, there is a need to remove barriers at personal, technological, and environmental levels.
Keywords: attitudes; barriers; facilitators; gerontechnology; individual and group interviews attitudes; barriers; facilitators; gerontechnology; individual and group interviews

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Chen, K.; Chan, A.H.-S. Use or Non-Use of Gerontechnology—A Qualitative Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10, 4645-4666.

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