While numbers and proportions of older adults with behavioral health issues are expected to substantially increase, there is also a widening gap in available services for older adults. Mobile health interventions (mhealth) are a way to address existing barriers to treatment, provide frontline assessment and increase access to services for older adults. Due to perpetuated stereotypes, many assume that older adults do not utilize mobile technology nor will they accept a mHealth intervention. The purpose of this paper is to synthesize contemporary literature from information technology and healthcare regarding: (1) current mobile technology utilization by older adults, particularly in regards to health; (2) factors affecting older adult motivation to engage with mobile technology; and (3) older adult preferences for interacting with mobile technology. Findings reveal that significant proportions of older adults: already utilize mobile technology; are willing to engage in existing mobile interventions for health reasons; and have positive attitudes overall towards mobile technology. Finally, recommendations for optimizing mobile interventions to better suit older adults with behavioral health problems are reviewed.
Kuerbis, A., Mulliken, A., Muench, F., Moore, A. A., & Gardner, D. (2017). Older adults and mobile technology: Factors that Enhance and Inhibit Utilization in the Context of Behavioral Health. Mental Health and Addiction Research. 2(2) doi: 10.15761/MHAR.1000136