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11-11-2017 | Uitgave 2/2018

Quality of Life Research 2/2018

Technology use and its association with health and depressive symptoms in older cancer survivors

Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 2/2018
Hee Yun Lee, Jeehoon Kim, Monica Sharratt



Acknowledging the expanding influence of technology in the promotion of health and wellness, this study assessed the role of information and communication technology (ICT) use in the lives of older cancer survivors.


A community sample of cancer survivors aged 65 and older (N = 1411) was extracted from a 2011 U.S. National Health and Aging Trends Study dataset. Weighted multiple regression and multinomial logistic regression analyses were performed to explore the relationships between survey respondents’ ICT use and their self-rated health status and depressive symptoms.


The majority of respondents reported rarely or never engaging in ICT use. Greater use of communication technology such as emailing or texting was associated with decreased risk for severe depressive symptoms and higher self-rated health status. Information technology use was not associated with depressive symptoms and self-rated health status.


Investigation into reasons behind older cancer survivors’ apparent low rates of engagement with ICT is warranted, particularly the examination of access as a potential barrier. Findings indicated that frequent use of communication technology was positively linked with mental and physical wellness. The nature of the relationships between communication technology use and physical and mental health merits further research, helping to determine whether community-based educational efforts to improve technology access and skills may benefit the growing population of older cancer survivors.

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