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Technology use characteristics among older adults during the COVID-19 pandemic: A cross-cultural survey

Ortal Cohen Elimelech, Simona Ferrante, Naomi Josman, Sonya Meyer, Francesca Lunardini, Jonathan Gómez-Raja, Carmen Galán, Pilar Cáceres, Piera Sciama, Marianne Gros, Clodia Vurro and Sara Rosenblum

Technology in Society, 2022, vol. 71, issue C

Abstract: Personal computers, tablets, and smartphones may support older adults' engagement when people are required to stay home and opportunities to engage in meaningful activities are reduced during the COVID-19 period. This study aims to screen older adults’ technology-use characteristics across social, leisure, and education domains during the COVID-19 pandemic from a crosscultural viewpoint. The sample included 576 participants aged 60 and older from France (n = 62), Spain (n = 110), and Israel (n = 404). Participants completed the technology-use survey, which consists of questions about their facilities, technology usability, need for adaptations to support technology use, and changes in technology use since COVID-19. Significant differences were found between countries in facilities, χ2 (2) = 25.16, p < .001, and usability, χ2 (2) = 64.14, p < .001, across the three domains. Furthermore, 34% of technological usability was predicted by country and facilities, F (4, 568) = 72.39, p < .001. Participants noted a willingness to use technology if it was adapted for social (61%–73%), leisure (51%–71%), or educational (67%–76%) activities and that they devoted substantially more time to technology across domains (>58%) due to COVID-19. These findings highlight culture and facilities as factors that play an imperative role in supporting and enhancing the usability of technology among older adults.

Keywords: COVID-19; Cultural difference; Older adult; Technology-use characteristics (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1016/j.techsoc.2022.102080

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