Attitudes Toward Technology and Use of Fall Alert Wearables in Caregiving: Survey Study.
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BACKGROUND: Wearable technology for fall alerts among older adult care recipients is one of the more frequently studied areas of technology, given the concerning consequences of falls among this population. Falls are quite prevalent in later life. While there is a growing amount of literature on older adults' acceptance of technology, less is known about how caregivers' attitudes toward technology can impact care recipients' use of such technology. OBJECTIVE: The objective of our study was to examine associations between caregivers' attitudes toward technology for caregiving and care recipients' use of fall alert wearables. METHODS: This study examined data collected with an online survey from 626 caregivers for adults 50 years and older. Adapted from the technology acceptance model, a structural equation model tested the following prespecified hypotheses: (1) higher perceived usefulness of technologies for caregiving would predict higher perceived value of and greater interest in technologies for caregiving; (2) higher perceived value of technologies for caregiving would predict greater interest in technologies for caregiving; and (3) greater interest in technologies for caregiving would predict greater use of fall alert wearables among care recipients. Additionally, we included demographic factors (eg, caregivers' and care recipients' ages) and caregiving context (eg, caregiver type and caregiving situation) as important predictors of care recipients' use of fall alert wearables. RESULTS: Of 626 total respondents, 548 (87.5%) with all valid responses were included in this study. Among care recipients, 28% used fall alert wearables. The final model had a good to fair model fit: a confirmatory factor index of 0.93, a standardized root mean square residual of 0.049, and root mean square error of approximation of 0.066. Caregivers' perceived usefulness of technology was positively associated with their attitudes toward using technology in caregiving (b=.70, P<.001) and interest in using technology for caregiving (b=.22, P=.003). Greater perceived value of using technology in caregiving predicted greater interest in using technology for caregiving (b=.65, P<.001). Greater interest in using technology for caregiving was associated with greater likelihood of care recipients using fall alert wearables (b=.27, P<.001). The caregiver type had the strongest inverse relationship with care recipients' use of fall alert wearables (unpaid vs paid caregiver) (b=-.33, P<.001). CONCLUSIONS: This study underscores the importance of caregivers' attitudes in care recipients' technology use for falls management. Raising awareness and improving perception about technologies for caregiving may help caregivers and care recipients adopt and better utilize technologies that can promote independence and enhance safety.
author list (cited authors)
Vollmer Dahlke, D., Lee, S., Smith, M. L., Shubert, T., Popovich, S., & Ory, M. G.
complete list of authors
Vollmer Dahlke, Deborah||Lee, Shinduk||Smith, Matthew Lee||Shubert, Tiffany||Popovich, Stephen||Ory, Marcia G