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Older Adults: Online Health Information

Photo of an elderly couple looking at a laptop computer

The Pew Internet and American Life Project [PDF - 3.01MB] reports that more older adults are beginning to use the internet to access health information. Be sure to use a user-centered design (UCD) approach if you decide to develop online health information. A UCD approach involves older adults in helping design a web site or test other digital products.

For more information about developing web sites for older adults and usability testing visit:

Making web sites Senior Friendly

Usability Testing

Health Literacy Online: A Guide to Writing and Designing Easy-to-Use Health Web Sites

Training Rural Older Adults to Locate, Evaluate and Use Health Information

The New England Region of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NL/NM NER) collaborated with the Healthy Maine Partnerships to train rural older adults in Western Maine to successfully access and evaluate health information online. Trainings were delivered at community based health centers and special exhibits were held during a conference hosted by SeniorsPlus, a local Area Agency on Aging.

Participants received instruction about MedlinePlus and PubMed and were also introduced to NIHseniorhealth.gov. Program results were measured through a pre/post test and one month follow-up survey. Survey questions addressed participants' awareness, knowledge and use of resources as well as access to computers. Findings demonstrated that participants had increased confidence to locate, evaluate and use health information. A greater number of older adults returned to the web sites or sent family members to the web sites following the training.

For more information about training older adults to locate and use online health information visit: www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/training/trainers.html

 
 
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