Targeted Telehealth Education Increases Interest in Using Telehealth among a Diverse Group of Low-Income Older Adults

Emily Jezewski, Abigale Miller, Mary Ann Eusebio, Jane Potter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Telehealth allows older adults to take control over their health and preventive care; however, they are less likely to use telehealth. Minority older adults use telehealth services less than their White counterparts. During COVID-19, the U.S. Medicare system allowed for telehealth delivery of Annual Wellness Visits, which are known to improve use of preventive services. To increase telehealth use, we targeted vulnerable, low-income, minority older adults and provided education to improve knowledge of and identify barriers to telehealth use. Ultimately, this could serve as a means of improving health and preventive care services. Participants resided at independent living facilities, low-income housing, and elders of the Native American coalition; N = 257. Participants received written education materials; a subset attended a 20-min presentation. In this quasi-experimental study, participants completed a pre-post survey. Results were analyzed using Chi-Squared and Fisher’s Exact tests. Participants included 54 ‘in-person’ and 203 ‘at-home’ learners. Most were female (79%), single/widowed (51%), and white (65%). At baseline, 39% were familiar with telehealth; following education 73% stated understanding on accessing telehealth. Nearly 40% of participants said they would use telehealth in the future; a larger proportion of “in-person” (73%) learners were willing to use telehealth than “at-home” learners (41%) (p = 0.001). Divorced older adults and Blacks voiced greater likelihoods of using telehealth than their married/widowed and White counterparts, respectively (Χ2(3, N = 195) = 9.693, p = 0.02), (p = 0.01). This education program demonstrates an increase likelihood in health promotion among older adults by increasing confidence in accessing and future use of telehealth; therefore, we achieved our aim of promoting telehealth use and improving health promotion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number13349
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Volume19
Issue number20
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2022

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • health promotion
  • older adults
  • outreach
  • telehealth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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