Regional health promotion in an age-friendly digital world

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DOI der Originalpublikation
angewandte Forschung
Healthy aging is, among other factors, a consequence of health literacy, which is best guaranteed through access to low-cost information and flexible community building in both the virtual context and in the real world. Today, the Internet can help encourage health literacy and health-related social interactions with others. However, when Internet access or technological skills are absent—which partly applies the older population (aged 65 years and older)—this creates hurdles for using the Internet as a source of health information. Nevertheless, increasingly more older adults are now using the Internet, and health-related information and interactions on the Internet have the potential to help older adults—people who often contend with multimorbidity constraints that limit their ability to visit local health services—in their direct (local) environments by providing them with essential support to maintain healthy aging by augmenting their contextual and individual resources. In this context, a key question concerns whether older adults accept and use online health information and interact online with health professionals and other older adults who have the same health-related questions. This project seeks to answer the key question by evaluating the needs of older adults and the potential barriers to accessing online health information and using health-related social interaction tools. Basing on the findings, we aim to conceptualize a regionally oriented website framework for healthy aging by integrating stakeholders of health services with senior organizations, self-help groups, and, most importantly, older people. The project has two main research goals: first, to empirically examine the potential acceptance, needs, and reflections of older adults regarding health-supported online solutions and their usability, as well as the requirements, conditions, and perspectives of providers of health prevention programs; and second, to analyze the framework conditions for and barriers to such a digital solution. To achieve these goals, we will adopt a mixed-methods approach consisting of four components. Following intensive desk research and scientific sounding board meetings, we will conduct a representative survey (including all language regions of Switzerland) of people aged 65 years or older living in Switzerland (N = 1,200) to evaluate the acceptability, needs, and potential barriers related to an online solution that advances health literacy through online health-related information and social interaction. Subsequently, we will involve older adults, nonprofessional caregivers, and local stakeholders by employing the qualitative method of participant workshops during the project. Ultimately, we will summarize our findings and formulate concrete recommendations for actions to be pursued by policymakers and municipalities. This project can enhance our understanding of the potentials and barriers related to digital technologies in terms of providing support for healthy aging and fostering a sense of engagement in a health community of older adults. The results could also enrich scientific and public discussions of the possible benefits and barriers related to digital environments regarding the promotion of healthy aging.
Während FHNW Zugehörigkeit erstellt
Hochschule für Soziale Arbeit
Institut Soziale Arbeit und Gesundheit
Finanziert durch
Schweizerischer Nationalfonds (SNF), COST
Finanziert durch
SAP Referenz
Fachgebiet (DDC)
300 - Sozialwissenschaften


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