Use of Online Health Information

Photo of an elderly couple looking at a laptop computer

Consider how you can target your health message to fit the needs of your particular group of older adults.

The Pew Internet and American Life Projectexternal icon reports that more older adults are beginning to use the internet to access health information. Be sure to use a user-centered design (UCD)external icon 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:

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

The New England Region of the National Network of Libraries of Medicineexternal icon (NL/NM NER) collaborated with the Healthy Maine Partnershipsexternal icon 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 SeniorsPlusexternal icon, a local Area Agency on Aging.

Participants received instruction about MedlinePlusexternal icon and PubMedexternal icon and were also introduced to NIHseniorhealth.govexternal icon. 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: Information for Librarians and Trainersexternal icon


Page last reviewed: November 13, 2019