Publication Details

Burns, P., Jones, S. C., Iverson, D. & Caputi, P. (2013). The devil is in the detail: determining the content of an internet intervention for older adults with asthma. Journal of Asthma and Allergy Educators, 4 (6), 316-326.


Introduction: The Internet can support people to self-manage their asthma, while overcoming barriers frequently found in primary care. A user-centred design process was utilised to explore the types of asthma information older adults perceived to be beneficial in helping them manage their asthma and the website features they felt were desirable for an asthma education website. Methods: A survey package was mailed to 9,000 adults aged 55 years and over, whose contact details had been obtained from the Australian Electoral Commission. Four focus groups were also conducted covering: asthma management; asthma Internet information; and website features. The Technology Acceptance Model was used as a framework to structure results. Results: Survey respondents indicated that they wanted information about identifying and avoiding asthma triggers, dealing with asthma attacks and the latest information on asthma management. Whilst focus group participants stated that asthma blogs, Internet forums and control assessment quizzes would not be useful to them. However the use of videos was seen as beneficial. Internet forums were the only feature discussed where older adults expressed concerns with their ability to use them effectively. Discussion: While older adults indicated a desire for basic asthma information the individual nature of asthma needs to be taken into consideration when creating website content. Both survey respondents and focus groups participants showed little interest in the use of blogs or forums on asthma. These results have implications for professionals providing self-management education to older adults with asthma and other chronic diseases.

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