Online activities among elder informal caregivers: Results from a cross-sectional study

Dominique A. Reinwand*, Rik Crutzen, Susanne Zank

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Web of Science)

Abstract

Objectives: The internet can be used as a source to gain information or support during highly demanding circumstances, e.g. providing informal care. While internet use has been studied among older people, less is known about informal caregivers' online behaviour. This study aims to explore differences in internet use regarding online activities between informal caregivers and non-caregivers. Methods: We used data of the Dutch Longitudinal Internet Studies for the Social Sciences panel (2014), including people aged 65 and older (N = 1413). To test differences with regard to 15 common internet activities; descriptive statistics and chi(2) tests were conducted. Results: The sample included 1197 participants aged 65 and older, and 325 (27.2%) were identified as informal caregivers. It was found that informal caregivers played more online games (chi(2) (1, 1198)=6.20, p= 0.01), while non-caregivers more often read online news (chi(2) (1, 1198) = 4.44, p= 0.04) and were more active on social network websites (chi(2) (1, 1198) = 5.07, p= 0.02) compared to their counterparts. Conclusion: Based on a representative sample, the results show that informal caregivers do not use the internet more for information seeking, but more often for playing online games, which may indicate that the internet is used to compensate for stress. Further research is needed to identify how informal caregivers can be supported by online services.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalDigital health
Volume4
Issue number1-11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jun 2018

Keywords

  • Informal caregiver
  • internet use
  • online activities
  • older people
  • FALSE DISCOVERY RATE
  • SUPPORT SERVICES
  • SOCIAL SUPPORT
  • FAMILY CARERS
  • OLDER-ADULTS
  • COMPUTER USE
  • HEALTH
  • INTERVENTIONS
  • INTERNET
  • DEMENTIA

Cite this