Background: Access to the internet has grown dramatically over the past two decades. However disparities in internet use, the second level of the digital divide, persist.
Objective: This study examined the opportunity-, motivation-, and health-related factors to determine variables that might predict the digital divide among older adults with DM.
Methods: Data for this study came from a nationally representative sample of people aged 65 years or older (N=1919). The dependent variable, digital divide, is designated by use or nonuse of internet or mobile searching for information. Dependent variables are opportunity (demographic and socioeconomic), motivation (participation in *ICT skill education, voluntary work, and intention of education) and health related factors (self-rated health, physical and cognitive functions). Logistic regression was used to explore potential differences in predictor variables between users and nonuser groups.
Results: Only 16.0% of older adults with DM currently used the internet for information searching and they are more likely to be younger, have a higher level of education, and more leisure activity expenditure. Most of all, they were more likely to have had experience of ICT skill, and more motivated to education than nonuser. They also were more likely to do volunteer work, be healthier in in terms of physical and cognitive functions, and perceived better health status.
Conclusions: Our results suggest the experience of ICT skill education and better physical and cognitive functions are more predictive of internet use than education or economic level in older adults with DM. Lest the frailest and vulnerable older adults, such as DM sufferers, be left behind with the move towards online and digital first health care, health care providers should offer them digital health interventions including digital competency training programs.*Information and communication technology.
S. Park: None.