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Overcoming challenges of digital self-management in older adults with multi-morbidity: the promise of social connectedness

Kuiper, Janneke, Jacobs, An, Doyle, Julie, Murphy, Emma, Smith, Suzanne, Hannigan, Caoimhe and Dinsmore, John (2017) Overcoming challenges of digital self-management in older adults with multi-morbidity: the promise of social connectedness. European Geriatric Medicine, 8 (1). S139. ISSN 1878-7649

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Introduction: Digital self-management for older people holds promises for aging well. However, the adoption readiness remains limited due to barriers in e.g. digital literacy, health and support. Furthermore, older people with multimorbidity (PwMs) are at increased risk of experiencing social disconnectedness. This living lab study explores the role of social connectedness in dealing with the challenges of digital self-management.

Methods: Data was collected in Belgium and Ireland as part of the ProACT project, which aims to develop a digital integrated health ecosystem to support self-management for older PwMs. Semi-structured interviews and focus groups were conducted with 38 older PwMs, 17 informal carers, 29 formal care workers and 41 healthcare professionals (HCPs). Subsequently, several co-creation sessions were held with PwMs and informal caregivers. Interviews and focus groups were transcribed and analysed using thematic analysis.

Results: Both the expected barriers in digital self-management, and the lack of social connectedness arose. HCPs and formal carers identified loss or lack of social contacts as a key factor in the deterioration of health, wellbeing and self-management abilities. Across stakeholders, the social context was considered an important determinant of PwMs motivation for self-management. Therefore in ProACT, a tool is developed to support this. We present the concepts of this tool, and the feedback collected on them.

Conclusion: This study demonstrates the different dimensions of the importance of supporting social connectedness in digital care solution for older PwMs. We also explored different concepts to support social connectedness, overcome the common challenges of digital self-management and increase adoption.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > Psychology
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > Psychology > Cognitive psychology
R Medicine > Healthcare Industry
Divisions: School of Business > Staff Research and Publications
Depositing User: Caoimhe Ní Mhaicín
Date Deposited: 24 Sep 2018 12:49
Last Modified: 24 Sep 2018 12:49

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