Factors That Impact the Level of Difficulty of Everyday Technology in a Sample of Older Adults With and Without Cognitive ImpairmentBy Patomella, Ann-Helen; Kottorp, Anders; Malinowsky, Camilla; Nygaard, Louise; Technology and Disability, Volume 23, pages 243-250
Publication Date: 2011
Study examined factors that facilitate or impede the use of everyday technology (ET) for older adults with and without cognitive impairment. Study participants were 116 home dwelling adults aged 55 to 92 years, of whom 71 had mild cognitive impairment or mild-stage Alzheimer’s disease. Participants were observed managing 27 ETs, including entertainment equipment such as televisions and DVD players; landline telephones and cellphones; personal computers; and kitchen appliances such as stoves, coffeemakers, dishwashers, and washing machines. In order to analyze and detect variables that influenced the level of difficulty of the ETs, regression analysis was used and predefined assumptions were investigated. Results revealed that ETs that were used less than once a week were more difficult to handle, as were those with a complex design. Video and DVD equipment with remote control as well as some features of computer equipment were found to be the most difficult technologies to use, while kitchen stoves and electric kettles were deemed the least difficult. The age and gender of the user, and how long the ET had been in use, did not relate to the degree of difficulty experienced in managing an ET. Results suggest that ETs, more specifically Information and Communication Technology, need to be designed to be more user friendly and less complex, and older adults that wish to continue using an ET need to be frequent users.
Published by: IOS Press (Website:http://www.iospress.nl)
Association for the Advancement of Assistive Technology in Europe (AAATE) (Web Site: http://www.aaate.net )