Seniors in eHealth: Challenges for knowledge acquisition during information retrieval
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Original versionHeldal, I., Børsheim, I., Fredriksen, E. H., & Sudmann, T. T. (2020). Seniors in eHealth: Challenges for knowledge acquisition during information retrieval. I A. Garcia-Perez & L. Simkin (Red.), Proceedings of the 21st European Conference on Knowledge Management (s. 327–334). Coventry University, UK.
With more information on the Internet, all citizens who need digital information to manage their everyday life must be able to access it and trust it. They should have enough knowledge to use information and communication technologies (ICTs) and online health information (OHI) in an intended and purposeful way. This paper investigates e-Health literacy (eHL) amongst seniors aged 65-90. It presents a case study on how they use ICT and access, appraise, and apply OHI in comparison to the way they use face-to-face health-encounters. Data comes from 17 open-ended interviews. These are examined based on eHL concepts describing eHealth literacy as an interplay between individual and social. The results show how participants are engaging in self- and co-management of their own or others' health-related issues and illustrate the help that they get or give to understand OHI. By examining how they use ICT and do (not) trust OHI regarding “serious cases,” this paper provides critical insight into ways seniors acquire information and how they appraise, understand or trust in it. Their information-seeking activities are performed mainly in private settings, seldom with professionals. They have lower levels of trust in their own, individual appraisal skills, compared to collective searches and appraisal skills. Norwegian seniors are cool and pragmatic, and emphatic on the “when needs must, see your GP!”. By examining differences in ICT use, knowledge acquisition and support given or received, the results pinpoint how providers must affirm seniors’ ICT use and individual and collective online health behaviour as assets for healthy ageing. A potential barrier for citizens’ use of OHI and health technology is the built-in understanding of health as an individual capacity and ICT use as an individual activity, compared to a contemporary understanding of health and the Internet as social practices and collective resources. Designers of health technologies and OHI should critically consider built-in understandings of content and users to enhance accessibility and value for citizens of all ages.