Anticipating ageing: Older adults reading their medical records

A1 Journal article (refereed)

Internal Authors/Editors

Publication Details

List of Authors: Isto Huvila, Heidi Enwald, Kristina Eriksson-Backa, Noora Hirvonen, Hai Nguyen, Isabella Scandurra
Publisher: Elsevier
Publication year: 2018
Journal: Information Processing and Management
Volume number: 54
Issue number: 3
Start page: 394
End page: 407


spite of the general interest in health information behaviour, there is
little earlier research on how older adults, who are still active in
working life but approaching retirement, differ from other age groups. A
survey with Swedish patients who had ordered and read their medical
record was conducted to map the preferences and motivations of older
adults (born 1946–1960) ordering a copy of their medical record, and
using medical records based e-health and information services in the
future. The results do not indicate an obvious linear relationship
between age and motivation to use online health information but show
several differences between the age groups. Older adults were less
interested in communication with their medical doctor by e-mail. Yet,
they had searched health information in the Internet during the last
week more likely than young. They were more inclined to read medical
record to get an overview of their health than young, but less confident
that they understood most of the content or turn to their family and
friends to seek help than the elderly. When compared to younger adults
and elderly people, older adults are the least confident and least
motivated to use online health information. It is suggested that older
adulthood can be seen as a transitory stage of life when the need of
health information increases and engagement with health changes. The
results agree with prior research on the potential usefulness of
(online) medical records as a way to inform citizens. However, specific
provision strategies may be necessary to match the needs and motivations
of different age groups.


health information, Health information behaviour, Medical records, older adults, Personal information management

Last updated on 2020-17-01 at 03:55