Mindful Age and Technology: a Qualitative Analysis of a Tablet/Smartphone App Intervention Designed for Older Adults

Francesco Vailati Riboni, Isabel Sadowski, Benedetta Comazzi, Francesco Pagnini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The global population is aging while modern healthcare systems are responding with limited success to the growing care demands of the senior population. Capitalizing on recent technological advancements, new ways to improve older adults' quality of life have recently been implemented. The current study investigated, from a qualitative point of view, the utility of a mindfulness-based smartphone application for older adults. A description of the older adults' experience with the smartphone application designed to enhance well-being and mindfulness will be presented. Participants'general beliefs about the benefits of technology for personal well-being will also be discussed. 68 older adults were recruited from different education centers for seniors. Participants were randomly assigned to two groups: a) a treatment group, which received the smartphone application intervention (n = 34), or b) a waitlist control group (n = 34). The experimental intervention included the utilization of a smartphone app designed specifically for improving older adult well-being and mindfulness levels. Participants completed semi-structured interviews evaluating participants' treatment experience and technology-acceptance at recruitment (T0, baseline) and post-intervention (T1, post-intervention). Through thematic analysis, four themes were identified from verbatim responses of both interviews: Utility of technology for health, Impressions of technology, Mindful-benefits of smartphone application usage, and Smartphone application usage as a means to improve interpersonal relationships. Participants showed a positive experience of the app intervention. Qualitative analysis underlined the main Mindfulness-benefits reported by participants and the potentially crucial role of "Langerian" mindfulness in the relationship between older adults and health technology.

Original languageEnglish
JournalIntegrative Psychological and Behavioral Science
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Oct 29 2020

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