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Older adults, e-inclusion and access to ICT-based care

Damant, Jacqueline (2014) Older adults, e-inclusion and access to ICT-based care. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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Background: Information communication technology (ICT) such as the Internet, mobile phones, computers and tablets, has become a central part of daily life. However a large number of older people do not use ICT, putting them at risk of exclusion from the digital society. Aims: To investigate level to which older people or are “e-included” (or engage with ICT) across various contexts, the factors which influence their e-inclusion and their access to ICT-based care, and the effects of ICT-use on their quality of life. Methods: Using a mixed method approach, I collected both secondary and primary data from numerous different sources including national datasets, the MonAMI project, the relevant literature, and interviews with older adults and technical experts. Analysis: Quantitative and qualitative analyses were performed according to the dimensions of the 6C framework for e-inclusion. The effects of ICT use was assessed against the domains of the ASCOT and WHOQOL models of quality of life. Results: Older people’s e-inclusion and access to ICT-based care were affected by a number of person-centred and environmental factors. There were marked variances in level of e-inclusion with the older population, which was partly attributed to a cohort effect. The evidence showed that access to ICT-based care was affected by local eligibility policies and care practitioner endorsement. Analyses revealed that ICT use positively affected older people’s quality of life in terms of maintaining independence and social networks, and improving psychological wellbeing. However, ICT-use had negative effects on older people’s sense of privacy. Moreover, ICT-based care services proved to be obtrusive and stigmatising for many older people. Conclusion: The findings highlighted a paucity in targeted policies which consider older people’s specific digital interests. There is also a need for a better understanding of the effects of ICT-based care on older people’s quality of life.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2014 Jacqueline Damant
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
Sets: Departments > Social Policy
Supervisor: Knapp, Martin and Freddolino, Paul

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