Volume 24, Issue 6 (Feb - Mar 2021)                   2021, 24(6): 498-509 | Back to browse issues page

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Habibollahpour M, Motalebi S A, Mahdikhani Z, Mohammadi F. Role of Socio-demographic Factors in Predicting the Use of Communication Technologies by Older People in Iran. Journal of Inflammatory Diseases. 2021; 24 (6) :498-509
URL: http://journal.qums.ac.ir/article-1-2960-en.html
1- Student Research Committee, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Qazvin University of Medical Sciences, Qazvin, Iran.
2- Social Determinants of Health Research Center, Research Institute for Prevention of Non-Communicable Diseases, Qazvin University of Medical Sciences, Qazvin, Iran.
3- Social Determinants of Health Research Center, Research Institute for Prevention of Non-Communicable Diseases, Qazvin University of Medical Sciences, Qazvin, Iran. , mohammadi1508@gmail.com
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1. Introduction
echnology is advancing rapidly, and although older adults tend to keep up with technology products, a small percentage of older people use the new technologies [12]. For example, in 2010, only 31% of American seniors used high-speed internet, and 48% of people more than 65 years of old used computers [9, 10]. One of the benefits of using advances technologies such as mobile phones, computers, internet, and Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) for older people is increasing their independence and quality of life [17]. Older people face several barriers to use new technologies including lower income and educational level, lack of sufficient skills and motivation, geographical location, and disabilities [10, 18]. The present study aims to determine the socio-demographic predictors of the use of common communication technologies by older people in Iran.
2. Materials and Methods
In this cross-sectional study, participants were 165 older people living in Qazvin, Iran who were selected using cluster sampling method. Inclusion criteria for them were: age ≥60 years, ability to communicate verbally, consent to participate in the study, and ability to read and write. The older people with debilitating diseases and disability were excluded from the study. Data collection tools were a demographic checklist and a researcher-made questionnaire for assessing technology usage. The questionnaire consisted of 13 yes-no questions about the use of internet and computer (4 items), ATM (5 items), and mobile phone (4 items). After approving the face and content validities of the checklist, its test-retest reliability for a 1-month interval was calculated whose coefficient was obtained 0.81. Descriptive tests and multivariate regression analysis were used for data analysis. Normality of data distribution was assessed and approved by Kolmogorov–Smirnov test. The statistical significance level was set at 0.05.
3. Results
The mean age of participants was 68.38±7.89 years, and 54.5% (n=90) of them were male. Most of them were married (n=127, 77%) and financially independent (n=109, 66.1%). Most of older men were able to use ATMs to pay bills, transfer and withdraw money, while older women were less likely to use these services. More than 80% of older men and women were reported to use mobile phones for making phone calls, but older women rarely used mobile phones for texting. The results of multivariate regression analyses showed that age (β=-0.209, P=0.002), gender (β=-0.142, P=0.029), level of education (β=0.501, P=0.000), financial status (β=0.142, P=0.023) were significant predictors of the use of communication technologies by older adults (Table 1). 

4. Discussion and Conclusion
The majority of older adults do not use computer and internet services such as online shopping, video calling, and email. Rupa et al. also reported that most of seniors in Greece do not use internet services [21]. This result may be due to illiteracy or low educational levels, lack of knowledge of how to use computers and internet services, or suffering from cognitive, visual, and musculoskeletal problems in many older people. It seems that the majority of older people in Qazvin, Iran still prefer traditional methods to advanced technologies such as computers and internet. Changing this behavior requires appropriate educational and cultural programs.

Ethical Considerations
Compliance with ethical guidelines

This study obtained its ethical approval from the Ethics Committee of Qazvin University of Medical Sciences (Code: IR.QUMS.REC.1396.164). The participants were assured of the confidentially of their information and signed a written informed consent form prior to study.

This article was extracted from a student research project at the School of Nursing and Midwifery, Qazvin University of Medical Sciences (No. 23671/6/28). Also, this study was supported by Qazvin University of Medical Sciences.

Authors' contributions
Methodology, resources and initial draft preparation: All authors; data analysis: Seyedeh Ameneh Motalebi; editing & review: Seyedeh Ameneh Motalebi and Fatemeh Mohammadi; project administration: Fatemeh Mohammadi.

Conflict of interest
The authors declare no conflict of interest.

The authors would like to thank all participants for their cooperation, and the Vice Chancellor for Research of Qazvin University of Medical Sciences for their financial support.

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Type of Study: Research | Subject: Community Medicine

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