The internet has become a useful tool in all phases and parts of life. Its uses range from finding out the answer to simple health questions to finding out the answer to ‘those’ questions you feel shouldn’t reach the ears of your parents. Taken any way, there are ways to maximize your results to any given time spent on the internet.
Now a study shows that chronically ill middle aged and older women are not properly using online tools to their maximum capacity. The researchers from Oregon State University (OSU) and University of Georgia (UG) collected information from 418 of women aged 44 years and older with at least one chronic condition and found out that 35% of them did not use the internet at all while from those who did use the internet, less than 20% of them took part in online discussions to find out about health problems.
There are several online self-care tools and can help old women manage and find out more about heart disease, cancer, bronchitis, asthma, depression, diabetes and much more.
The researchers indicated that they can improve management of their conditions by online resources.
Carolyn Mendez-Luck, PhD, is an assistant professor at OSU and took part in the study. She says, “It really seemed to be the lower-resourced individuals who weren’t using the internet and thus online resources.”
She adds, “If you’re older, if you’re a member of a minority group, if you’re less educated, if you’re not working, all of those things work against you and impede your use of the internet; that’s what this research suggests.”
The data showed that a lot of elderly women had multiple chronic conditions but only a small number of the women used the internet for help and support. And the non-internet users needed help learning how to manage their health conditions.
But there are two sides of a coin. A lot of the women who used the internet to find out about diabetes and depression said they needed help on how to manage their health conditions and how to take better care of their health which indicates that “internet resources are not a one size fits all”, as in the words of Mendez-Luck.
She also says that we need to give women a chance to get connected with other people on the internet to eradicate their fear and uneasiness regarding technology.