Now showing 1 - 2 of 2
  • Publication
    Open Access
    Domains, feasibility, effectiveness, cost, and acceptability of telehealth in aging care: A scoping review of systematic reviews
    (2023)
    Zhang, Yichi
    ;
    Leuk, Jessie Siew Pin
    ;
    Background: Aging is becoming a major global challenge. Compared with younger adults, the older population has greater health needs but faces inadequate access to appropriate, affordable, and high-quality health care. Telehealth can remove geographic and time boundaries, as well as enabling socially isolated and physically homebound people to access a wider range of care options. The impacts of different telehealth interventions in terms of their effectiveness, cost, and acceptability in aging care are still unclear. Objective: This scoping review of systematic reviews aimed to provide an overview of the domains of telehealth implemented in aging care; synthesize evidence of telehealth’s feasibility, effectiveness, cost benefits, and acceptability in the context of aging care; identify gaps in the literature; and determine the priorities for future research. Methods: Guided by the methodological framework of the Joanna Briggs Institute, we reviewed systematic reviews concerning all types of telehealth interventions involving direct communication between older users and health care providers. In total, 5 major electronic databases, PubMed, Embase (Ovid), Cochrane Library, CINAHL, and PsycINFO (EBSCO), were searched on September 16, 2021, and an updated search was performed on April 28, 2022, across the same databases as well as the first 10 pages of the Google search. Results: A total of 29 systematic reviews, including 1 post hoc subanalysis of a previously published large Cochrane systematic review with meta-analysis, were included. Telehealth has been adopted in various domains in aging care, such as cardiovascular diseases, mental health, cognitive impairment, prefrailty and frailty, chronic diseases, and oral health, and it seems to be a promising, feasible, effective, cost-effective, and acceptable alternative to usual care in selected domains. However, it should be noted that the generalizability of the results might be limited, and further studies with larger sample sizes, more rigorous designs, adequate reporting, and more consistently defined outcomes and methodologies are needed. The factors affecting telehealth use among older adults have been categorized into individual, interpersonal, technological, system, and policy levels, which could help direct collaborative efforts toward improving the security, accessibility, and affordability of telehealth as well as better prepare the older population for digital inclusion. Conclusions: Although telehealth remains in its infancy and there is a lack of high-quality studies to rigorously prove the feasibility, effectiveness, cost benefit, and acceptability of telehealth, mounting evidence has indicated that it could play a promising complementary role in the care of the aging population.
    WOS© Citations 5Scopus© Citations 9  32  166
  • Publication
    Open Access
    Health-seeking behavior and its associated technology use: Interview study among community-dwelling older adults
    (2023)
    Zhang, Yichi
    ;
    Lee, Edmund W. J.
    ;
    Background: Understanding older people’s health-seeking behavior (HSB) is crucial for uncovering their health needs and priorities and developing appropriate policies to address them and avert their disease progression. Technologies play an active role in our daily lives and have been incorporated into health activities to support the older population and facilitate their HSB. However, previous studies of HSB have mainly focused on behaviors during illness, and there are limited studies on how technologies have been used in older people’s health-seeking activities. Objective: This study aimed to investigate HSB and the associated technology use among the older population, ultimately proposing implications for practice to address their unmet health needs. Methods: This paper presents partial data from a large qualitative study, which has been approved by the institutional review board and used a phenomenological approach. Semistructured interviews were conducted between April 2022 and July 2022, either via Zoom (Zoom Video Communications Inc) or face-to-face sessions. Inclusion criteria were being aged ≥50 years, long-term residence in Singapore, and being able to speak English or Mandarin. The interviews were manually transcribed verbatim, and thematic analysis was performed, with the individual as the unit of analysis to understand the patterns of behaviors. Results: In total, 15 interviews were conducted to reach thematic saturation. We identified 5 main consequences of HSB, which were aligned with the original HSB model. Regarding technology use in health seeking, 4 themes were extracted: the most widely used digital technologies are the mobile health apps and wearable devices with the associated wellness programs launched by the government and local companies, and they have the potential to enhance health communication, promote health maintenance, and increase access to health services; information communication technologies and social media, though not primarily designed for health purposes, play a substantial role in easing the process of seeking health information and managing symptoms. Although the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in some alterations to older adults’ well-being, it has catalyzed the adoption of telehealth as a complement to access health care services, and older adults have different considerations when selecting technologies to facilitate their health seeking and fulfill their health needs. Moreover, 4 archetypes were proposed based on our findings and the insights gained from our participants’ observations in their social networks. These findings led to several implications for practice regarding health communication and promotion, health education, technology design and improvement, telemonitoring service implementation, and solutions to address the needs of each proposed archetype. Conclusions: Unlike the commonly held belief that older adults resist technologies and lack technological proficiency, our findings showed that technologies could play a promising role in facilitating older adults’ health seeking. Our findings have implications for the design and implementation of health services and policies.
    WOS© Citations 2Scopus© Citations 1  73  85