A Novel Instrument for Measuring Older People’s Attitudes Toward Technology (TechPH): Development and Validation

A Novel Instrument for Measuring Older People’s Attitudes Toward Technology (TechPH): Development and Validation

ABSTRACT

Background: The use of health technology by older people is coming increasingly in focus with the demographic changes. Health information technology is generally perceived as an important factor in enabling increased quality of life and reducing the cost of care for this group. Age-appropriate design and facilitation of technology adoption are important to ensure functionality and removal of various barriers to usage. Development of assessment tools and instruments for evaluating older persons’ technology adoption and usage as well as measuring the effects of the interventions are of high priority. Both usability and acceptance of a specific technology or service are important factors in evaluating the impact of a health information technology intervention. Psychometric measures are seldom included in evaluations of health technology. However, basic attitudes and sentiments toward technology (eg, technophilia) could be argued to influence both the level of satisfaction with the technology itself as well as the perception of the health intervention outcome.

Objective: The purpose of this study is to develop a reduced and refined instrument for measuring older people’s attitudes and enthusiasm for technology based on relevant existing instruments for measuring technophilia. A requirement of the new instrument is that it should be short and simple to make it usable for evaluation of health technology for older people.

Methods: Initial items for the TechPH questionnaire were drawn from a content analysis of relevant existing technophilia measure instruments. An exploratory factor analysis was conducted in a random selection of persons aged 65 years or older (N=374) on eight initial items. The scale was reduced to six items, and the internal consistency and reliability of the scale were examined. Further validation was made by a confirmatory factor analysis (CFA).

Results: The exploratory factor analysis resulted in two factors. These factors were analyzed and labeled techEnthusiasm and techAnxiety. They demonstrated relatively good internal consistency (Cronbach alpha=.72 and .68, respectively). The factors were confirmed in the CFA and showed good model fit (χ28=21.2, χ2/df=2.65, comparative fit index=0.97, adjusted goodness-of-fit index=0.95, root mean square error of approximation=0.067, standardized root mean square residual=0.036).

Conclusions: The construed TechPH score showed expected relations to external real-world criteria, and the two factors showed interesting internal relations. Different technophilia personality traits distinguish clusters with different behaviors of adaptation as well as usage of new technology. Whether there is an independent association with the TechPH score against outcomes in health technology projects needs to be shown in further studies. The instrument must also be validated in different contexts, such as other countries.

Anderberg P, Eivazzadeh S, Berglund JS
A Novel Instrument for Measuring Older People’s Attitudes Toward Technology (TechPH): Development and Validation
J Med Internet Res 2019;21(5):e13951
URL: https://www.jmir.org/2019/5/e13951
DOI: 10.2196/13951
PMID: 31124467
PMCID: 6552448

Categories: Publications, Research

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