What types of difficulties do seniors encounter when using the internet to make health care decisions?
Quality of Life
Spinal Cord Injuries
The Internet is an important source of information for health-related topics and services. Currently, however, an age-related digital divide exists, especially for lower SES minority elderly. This study examined the ability of a sample of 40 community dwelling adults aged 50-85 yrs. to use the Internet to make choices related to Medicare services. Performance data included response time, accuracy, and search behavior (based on videotape recordings) and ratings of usability. Overall the data indicate that although most of the of participants were able to find the needed information many of them made errors, used inefficient search strategies, and encountered search problems. Furthermore, most of the sample indicated problems with usability and that they were frustrated interacting with the website. These findings are discussed in terms of recommendations for training and website design. The paper will also discuss how screen capture data can be used in the development of design guidelines.