Understanding How Older Adults Feel About Wellness Tools

Problem Context

The num­ber of older adults pro­jected to grow rapidly, leading to increased inter­est in build­ing tech­nol­ogy tools to main­tain their health and well­ness. I per­formed back­ground research in the area, and noted lack of inte­grated tech­nol­ogy tools for well­ness. I then brain­stormed ideas on how to assess if such a tool would meet an unmet need in older adults, and designed a study that would focus groups to assess their attitudes towards a multifunctional wellness tool.

Talking to older adults about their thoughts about wellness tools

Focus Group Facilitation

Once study design was com­pleted, I facil­i­tated focus groups at mul­ti­ple older adult com­mu­ni­ties to ascer­tain their atti­tudes towards mul­ti­func­tional well­ness tools as well as any par­tic­u­lar fea­tures that would act as a facil­i­ta­tor or bar­rier, and recorded them via an audio recorder.

Figuring out how older adults feel about wellness tools

Qualitative Coding & Analysis

I led the team to tran­scribe focus groups, and then used an open cod­ing process to gen­er­ate a code book that would allow fur­ther analy­sis with other team mem­bers. Once code book was gen­er­ated, we used iter­a­tive, inde­pen­dent cod­ing process fol­lowed by rec­on­cil­i­a­tion with other mem­bers for inter-rater reli­a­bil­ity. Once iter­a­tions com­plete, we iden­ti­fied cross-cutting themes that were com­mon across groups to sum­ma­rize their atti­tudes, facil­i­ta­tors and bar­ri­ers towards a mul­ti­func­tional well­ness tool.

Completion of Focus Groups

From the focus groups, we learned about older adult attitudes and thoughts towards multifunctional wellness tools. Generally, they felt positively towards using wellness tools for their health, and felt current tools did not meet their needs. Concerns included how to use such tools in light of aging-related changes, as well as privacy and existing perceptions of technology. We published our findings in the journal Informatics for Health and Social Care.

More Selected Work

Hello, Let's Chat!

Jonathan Joe

Email Jonathan Now

Department of Biomedical Informatics & Medical Education
School of Medicine
University of Washington
UW Box BIME-SLU 358047
Seattle, WA 98195