The use of information and communication technologies by older people with cognitive impairments: from barriers to benefits

Marije Blok*, Erik van Ingen, Alice H. de Boer, Marieke Slootman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Inspired by both classical theories on technology adoption and gerontological theories on social and emotional ageing, we aim to better understand barriers and benefits in ICT use among older people with cognitive impairments. Through qualitative interviews (N = 35) among this population as well as important network members, we obtained a detailed picture of the role of ICTs in their everyday lives. First, we find that older individuals with cognitive impairments perceive ICTs as useful when these contribute to the satisfaction of social and emotional needs in terms of relationships, hobbies or daily activities. Second, ICT use among our group is jointly determined by perceived usefulness (PU), and perceived ease of use (PEU), with PU motivating individuals to increase PEU. Third, the social network plays an important role in encouraging and discouraging ICT use: by providing assistance, taking the first step, restricting access or indirect use. The latter refers to shared use, where devices are operated by others. Fourth, we point out the importance of voluntariness in using ICT: some participants were so restricted by others in their ICT use that this reduced their perception of control. We conclude by providing recommendations for family members, caregivers, and ICT developers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106173
Number of pages9
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Volume104
Early online date22 Oct 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2020

Keywords

  • Cognitive impairments
  • ICT adoption
  • Informal care
  • Social and emotional ageing

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