Free
Poster Session
Issue Date: August 2016
Published Online: August 01, 2016
Updated: January 01, 2021
A Model for Understanding the Acceptance and Use of Mobile Phone Technology by Older Adults to Facilitate Independence
Author Affiliations
  • University of Indianapolis
  • Student, Carmel, IN
  • University of Indianapolis
  • University of Indianapolis
  • University of Indianapolis
  • University of Indianapolis
  • Grand Valley State University
Article Information
Geriatrics/Productive Aging / Basic Research
Poster Session   |   August 01, 2016
A Model for Understanding the Acceptance and Use of Mobile Phone Technology by Older Adults to Facilitate Independence
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, August 2016, Vol. 70, 7011505157. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2016.70S1-PO5085
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, August 2016, Vol. 70, 7011505157. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2016.70S1-PO5085
Abstract

Date Presented 4/8/2016

A conceptual framework is presented to explain the use of mobile phone technology by older adults. As key players in the pursuit for active aging, occupational therapy practitioners must understand the factors that contribute to the acceptance and use of technologies that are relied on to support daily occupations.

Primary Author and Speaker: Beth Ann Walker

Additional Authors and Speakers: Shelby Zornes, Kelly France, Katy Kessler, Sydney Nields, Troy Thompson, Brenda Ausberger

PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to use a grounded theory design to explore older adults’ acceptance and use of mobile phones and their perception of how this technology contributes to their sense of independence.
BACKGROUND: It is evident mobile phones have become integrated into our lifestyles and have come to play such a significant role in completing our daily routines it is hard to imagine not having this piece of technology available. For older adults, mobile phone technology could be viewed as a significant tool to support functional independence in many areas. Therefore, a substantial effort must be made to understand the attitudes and beliefs of older adults contemplating the adoption and use of smartphone technology.
DESIGN: This study used a grounded theory design to explore data collected from a focus group.
PARTICIPANTS: Five older adults ages 65–72 yr who owned a mobile phone participated in this study.
METHOD: A focus group was used to collect data to be analyzed for this study.
ANALYSIS: Coding was completed following an inductive thematic approach. The transcription was read by all investigators, initially coded independently and reviewed collaboratively to develop a coding framework and establish interrater reliability. Using a constant comparative approach, initial codes were reduced to substantive themes.
In the final analysis, theoretical themes emerged to summarize the data. Validity was ensured by identifying personal biases, using a code–recode procedure, negative case sampling, investigator triangulation, and discussing findings as a group. Once findings were established, peer review and member checking were completed to ensure verification of findings.
RESULTS: Factors that contribute to an individual’s ability to use mobile phone technology include the device itself, effort expectancy, sell efficacy, available resources, and experience. Factors that contribute to actual use of mobile phone technology include ability, social influence, perceived need, and attitude.
DISCUSSION: The model presented follows a three-step flow starting with the primary components of ability followed by internal factors of the user and ending with usage of the technology in question. It is believed that this model can be used when attempting to discover reasons for a lack of or abundance of use for technologies. Given the abundance of benefits that technology could provide for this population, it is imperative that we find a way to address deficits to optimize use.
IMPACT STATEMENT: This model can be used to inform technological design and application to maximize the fit between smartphone technology and the older adult user who will inevitably rely on it to support functional outcomes.
Because occupational therapists are key players in the pursuit of active aging, it is essential that practitioners understand the factors that contribute to older adults’ acceptance and use of technologies that are becoming more and more relied on to support many occupational outcomes.