Understanding changes and stability in the long-term use of technologies by seniors who are aging in place

A dynamical framework

S.T.M. Peek*, K.G. Luijkx, H.J.M. Vrijhoef, M.E. Nieboer, S. Aarts, C.S. van der Voort, M.D. Rijnaard, E.J.M. Wouters

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Background:
If technologies are to support aging in place, then it is important to develop fundamental knowledge on what causes stability and changes in the use of technologies by seniors. However, longitudinal studies on the long-term use of technologies that have been accepted into the home (i.e., post-implementation use) are very scarce. Many factors potentially could influence post-implementation use, including life events, age-related decline, changes in personal goal orientation, and various types of social influences. The aforementioned factors are likely to be interrelated, adding to the complexity. The goal of this study is to better understand changes and stability in the use of technologies by independent-living seniors, by using a dynamical systems theory approach.

Methods:
A longitudinal qualitative field study was conducted involving home visits to 33 community-dwelling seniors in the Netherlands, on three occasions (2012–2014). Interviews were held on technology usage patterns, including reasons for stable, increased, declined and stopped use. Technologies were included if they required electric power in order to function, were intended to be used in or around the home, and could support activities of daily living, personal health or safety, mobility, communication, and physical activity. Thematic analysis was employed, using constant case comparison to better understand dynamics and interplay between factors. In total, 148 technology use patterns by 33 participants were analyzed.

Results:
A core of six interrelated factors was closely linked to the frequency of technology use: emotional attachment, need compatibility, cues to use, proficiency to use, input of resources, and support. Additionally, disruptive forces (e.g., social influences, competition with alternative means, changes of personal needs) could induce change by affecting these six factors. Furthermore, long-term technology use was in some cases more resilient to disruption than in other cases. Findings were accumulated in a new framework: Dynamics In Technology Use by Seniors (DITUS).

Conclusions:
Similar to aging, the use of technologies by older people is complex, dynamic and personal. Periods of stability and change both occur naturally. The DITUS framework can aid in understanding stability and instability of technology use, and in developing and implementing sustainable technological solutions for aging in place.
Original languageEnglish
Article number236
Number of pages13
JournalBMC Geriatrics
Volume19
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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Independent Living
House Calls
Netherlands
Cues

Keywords

  • ACCEPTANCE MODEL
  • AGENDA
  • Aging in place
  • Consumer appliances
  • Dynamical systems theory
  • E-health
  • Gerontechnology
  • ICT
  • INFORMATION-TECHNOLOGY
  • Longitudinal qualitative research
  • OLDER-ADULTS
  • STATE
  • Smart home
  • Technology acceptance
  • Technology adoption

Cite this

@article{ea74afd1df4e437890c1fd9510d2d30a,
title = "Understanding changes and stability in the long-term use of technologies by seniors who are aging in place: A dynamical framework",
abstract = "Background:If technologies are to support aging in place, then it is important to develop fundamental knowledge on what causes stability and changes in the use of technologies by seniors. However, longitudinal studies on the long-term use of technologies that have been accepted into the home (i.e., post-implementation use) are very scarce. Many factors potentially could influence post-implementation use, including life events, age-related decline, changes in personal goal orientation, and various types of social influences. The aforementioned factors are likely to be interrelated, adding to the complexity. The goal of this study is to better understand changes and stability in the use of technologies by independent-living seniors, by using a dynamical systems theory approach.Methods:A longitudinal qualitative field study was conducted involving home visits to 33 community-dwelling seniors in the Netherlands, on three occasions (2012–2014). Interviews were held on technology usage patterns, including reasons for stable, increased, declined and stopped use. Technologies were included if they required electric power in order to function, were intended to be used in or around the home, and could support activities of daily living, personal health or safety, mobility, communication, and physical activity. Thematic analysis was employed, using constant case comparison to better understand dynamics and interplay between factors. In total, 148 technology use patterns by 33 participants were analyzed.Results:A core of six interrelated factors was closely linked to the frequency of technology use: emotional attachment, need compatibility, cues to use, proficiency to use, input of resources, and support. Additionally, disruptive forces (e.g., social influences, competition with alternative means, changes of personal needs) could induce change by affecting these six factors. Furthermore, long-term technology use was in some cases more resilient to disruption than in other cases. Findings were accumulated in a new framework: Dynamics In Technology Use by Seniors (DITUS).Conclusions:Similar to aging, the use of technologies by older people is complex, dynamic and personal. Periods of stability and change both occur naturally. The DITUS framework can aid in understanding stability and instability of technology use, and in developing and implementing sustainable technological solutions for aging in place.",
keywords = "ACCEPTANCE MODEL, AGENDA, Aging in place, Consumer appliances, Dynamical systems theory, E-health, Gerontechnology, ICT, INFORMATION-TECHNOLOGY, Longitudinal qualitative research, OLDER-ADULTS, STATE, Smart home, Technology acceptance, Technology adoption",
author = "S.T.M. Peek and K.G. Luijkx and H.J.M. Vrijhoef and M.E. Nieboer and S. Aarts and {van der Voort}, C.S. and M.D. Rijnaard and E.J.M. Wouters",
year = "2019",
doi = "10.1186/s12877-019-1241-9",
language = "English",
volume = "19",
journal = "BMC Geriatrics",
issn = "1471-2318",
publisher = "BioMed Central",

}

Understanding changes and stability in the long-term use of technologies by seniors who are aging in place : A dynamical framework. / Peek, S.T.M.; Luijkx, K.G.; Vrijhoef, H.J.M.; Nieboer, M.E.; Aarts, S.; van der Voort, C.S.; Rijnaard, M.D.; Wouters, E.J.M.

In: BMC Geriatrics, Vol. 19, 236, 2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Understanding changes and stability in the long-term use of technologies by seniors who are aging in place

T2 - A dynamical framework

AU - Peek, S.T.M.

AU - Luijkx, K.G.

AU - Vrijhoef, H.J.M.

AU - Nieboer, M.E.

AU - Aarts, S.

AU - van der Voort, C.S.

AU - Rijnaard, M.D.

AU - Wouters, E.J.M.

PY - 2019

Y1 - 2019

N2 - Background:If technologies are to support aging in place, then it is important to develop fundamental knowledge on what causes stability and changes in the use of technologies by seniors. However, longitudinal studies on the long-term use of technologies that have been accepted into the home (i.e., post-implementation use) are very scarce. Many factors potentially could influence post-implementation use, including life events, age-related decline, changes in personal goal orientation, and various types of social influences. The aforementioned factors are likely to be interrelated, adding to the complexity. The goal of this study is to better understand changes and stability in the use of technologies by independent-living seniors, by using a dynamical systems theory approach.Methods:A longitudinal qualitative field study was conducted involving home visits to 33 community-dwelling seniors in the Netherlands, on three occasions (2012–2014). Interviews were held on technology usage patterns, including reasons for stable, increased, declined and stopped use. Technologies were included if they required electric power in order to function, were intended to be used in or around the home, and could support activities of daily living, personal health or safety, mobility, communication, and physical activity. Thematic analysis was employed, using constant case comparison to better understand dynamics and interplay between factors. In total, 148 technology use patterns by 33 participants were analyzed.Results:A core of six interrelated factors was closely linked to the frequency of technology use: emotional attachment, need compatibility, cues to use, proficiency to use, input of resources, and support. Additionally, disruptive forces (e.g., social influences, competition with alternative means, changes of personal needs) could induce change by affecting these six factors. Furthermore, long-term technology use was in some cases more resilient to disruption than in other cases. Findings were accumulated in a new framework: Dynamics In Technology Use by Seniors (DITUS).Conclusions:Similar to aging, the use of technologies by older people is complex, dynamic and personal. Periods of stability and change both occur naturally. The DITUS framework can aid in understanding stability and instability of technology use, and in developing and implementing sustainable technological solutions for aging in place.

AB - Background:If technologies are to support aging in place, then it is important to develop fundamental knowledge on what causes stability and changes in the use of technologies by seniors. However, longitudinal studies on the long-term use of technologies that have been accepted into the home (i.e., post-implementation use) are very scarce. Many factors potentially could influence post-implementation use, including life events, age-related decline, changes in personal goal orientation, and various types of social influences. The aforementioned factors are likely to be interrelated, adding to the complexity. The goal of this study is to better understand changes and stability in the use of technologies by independent-living seniors, by using a dynamical systems theory approach.Methods:A longitudinal qualitative field study was conducted involving home visits to 33 community-dwelling seniors in the Netherlands, on three occasions (2012–2014). Interviews were held on technology usage patterns, including reasons for stable, increased, declined and stopped use. Technologies were included if they required electric power in order to function, were intended to be used in or around the home, and could support activities of daily living, personal health or safety, mobility, communication, and physical activity. Thematic analysis was employed, using constant case comparison to better understand dynamics and interplay between factors. In total, 148 technology use patterns by 33 participants were analyzed.Results:A core of six interrelated factors was closely linked to the frequency of technology use: emotional attachment, need compatibility, cues to use, proficiency to use, input of resources, and support. Additionally, disruptive forces (e.g., social influences, competition with alternative means, changes of personal needs) could induce change by affecting these six factors. Furthermore, long-term technology use was in some cases more resilient to disruption than in other cases. Findings were accumulated in a new framework: Dynamics In Technology Use by Seniors (DITUS).Conclusions:Similar to aging, the use of technologies by older people is complex, dynamic and personal. Periods of stability and change both occur naturally. The DITUS framework can aid in understanding stability and instability of technology use, and in developing and implementing sustainable technological solutions for aging in place.

KW - ACCEPTANCE MODEL

KW - AGENDA

KW - Aging in place

KW - Consumer appliances

KW - Dynamical systems theory

KW - E-health

KW - Gerontechnology

KW - ICT

KW - INFORMATION-TECHNOLOGY

KW - Longitudinal qualitative research

KW - OLDER-ADULTS

KW - STATE

KW - Smart home

KW - Technology acceptance

KW - Technology adoption

U2 - 10.1186/s12877-019-1241-9

DO - 10.1186/s12877-019-1241-9

M3 - Article

VL - 19

JO - BMC Geriatrics

JF - BMC Geriatrics

SN - 1471-2318

M1 - 236

ER -