The ability of older adults to use customized online medical databases to improve their health-related knowledge

Ophir Freund, Iris Reychav*, Roger McHaney, Ella Goland, Joseph Azuri

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction Patient compliance with medical advice and recommended treatment depends on perception of health condition, medical knowledge, attitude, and self-efficacy. This study investigated how use of customized online medical databases, intended to improve knowledge in a variety of relevant medical topics, influenced senior adults’ perceptions. Method Seventy-nine older adults in residence homes completed a computerized, tablet-based questionnaire, with medical scenarios and related questions. Following an intervention, control group participants answered questions without online help while an experimental group received internet links that directed them to customized, online medical databases. Results Medical knowledge and test scores among the experimental group significantly improved from pre- to post-intervention (p < 0.0001) and was higher in comparison with the control group (p < 0.0001). No significant change occurred in the control group. Conclusion Older adults improved their knowledge in desired medical topic areas using customized online medical databases. The study demonstrated how such databases help solve health-related questions among older adult population members, and that older patients appear willing to consider technology usage in information acquisition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Medical Informatics
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2017


  • Elderly
  • Medical knowledge
  • Older adults
  • Online medical databases
  • Patient education
  • Resident care facility
  • Tablet computers
  • eHealth


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