Use of Online Health Information
The Pew Research Centerexternal icon reports that more older adults are beginning to use the internet to access 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 website or test other digital products.
For more information about developing websites for older adults and usability testing visit:
- Making Your Website Senior-Friendlyexternal icon
- Usability Testingexternal icon
- Health Literacy Online: A Guide for Simplifying the User Experienceexternal icon
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 the National Institute on Aging’s websiteexternal 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 websites or sent family members to the websites following the training.
For more information about training older adults to locate and use online health information, visit Information for Librarians and Trainersexternal icon.