The COVID-19 pandemic ushered in rapid telehealth/telemedicine adoption. In this study, we (1) examined rates and correlates of telehealth (video call) use among those aged 70+, and (2) tested the significance of access to information and communication technology (ICT) device ownership and knowledge of how to use the internet and devices as telehealth-enabling factors. The Behavioral Model of Health Services Use served as the conceptual framework, and data came from the COVID-19 supplemental survey of the National Health and Aging Trend Study. Results show that telehealth use increased to 21.1% from 4.6% pre-pandemic. In logistic regression models without technology-enabling factors, older age and lower income were negatively associated with telehealth use; however, when technology-enabling factors were included, they were significant while age and income were no longer significant. Insuring that older adults have ICT devices and internet access may reduce health disparities and improve telehealth care delivery.
Journal of Applied Gerontology – SAGE
Published: Jan 1, 2021