mHealth in hyper-connected Hong Kong: examining attitudes and access to mobile devices and health information among older Chinese residents

Margo Louise Turnbull, Ying Jin, Alice Yau, MSY Lai, MYC cheung, WYW Kwan, Bernadette Maria Watson

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

Abstract

Background: Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is one of the most technologically advanced and interconnected cities in the world in terms of ownership of internet-enabled mobile devices. mHealth programs that make use of mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets to maximise access to health information, have been identified as having great potential for ageing communities for the management of health and social care needs. This paper reports the findings of a two-stage exploratory research project which examined the experiences and perceptions of Hong Kong residents aged over 60 years in relation to mHealth technologies and health literacy. Methods: This study collected data from older Hong Kong residents at a community centre. Data were collected at two stages in July and August 2019. Stage one involved a one-on-one interview at Centre A with each research participant. The self-report surveys included seven questions about mobile phone ownership and a 16-item gerontechnology survey previously used in Hong Kong. Stage two of the data collection involved three discussion groups with the research participants that were run over a 3-week period. Results: (I) Providing health information via digital devices was considered promising and acceptable by most of our participants. (II) Major concerns that impeded the elders' use of digital devices were their lack of the necessary skills to use these gadgets and their loss of memory. (III) Many participants stated their concern that they found it difficult to recall information immediately after being taught. (IV) Most participants had problems in reading because of low literacy levels or some age-related eye-diseases. (V) Video instructions were preferred by participants as audio and visual input is more useful than rather than static written information with heavy reading requirements. Conclusions: Participants were interested in using mHealth technologies. Education and ongoing support in their use is necessary.
Original languageEnglish
JournalmHealth
Volume7
Issue number43
Early online date1 Dec 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jul 2021

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