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Comput Inform Nurs. 2014 Aug;32(8):390-6. doi: 10.1097/CIN.0000000000000080.

Use of computer and cellular phone technology by older rural adults.

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Author Affiliations: School of Nursing, University of North Carolina at Charlotte (Dr O'Brien and Ms Mercier); and College of Nursing, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston (Drs Treiber and Jenkins).


The objective of this study was to explore the use of computer and cellular phone technology among older adults living in the rural Appalachian region of North Carolina. A 21-item questionnaire on access to and use of computer and cellular phone technology was administered to 43 older adults, using dichotomous and frequency-rated questions. The sample was recruited from two rural senior centers in the Appalachian region of North Carolina. Forty percent of the participants earned $20 000 or less annually. The majority owned a cellular phone (79.9%), and nearly half had a desktop computer (44.2%). High-speed Internet coverage was the most frequent type (42%) of in-home coverage. This study provides insights into the needs and challenges of older rural Appalachians with regard to technology. Computer technology may be more accessible and have fewer barriers by older adults than other forms of technology. Future research should explore the levels of computer literacy of older adults.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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