Examining the Adoption, Use and Diffusion of Tablet and Mobile Devices by Older Adults in Hertfordshire County, UK
Ubiquitous or mobile computing is the new trend of this modern era whereby information can be accessed anytime and anywhere. It is anticipated that this form of computing will be more effective than the Internet because of its capability of combining the integral benefits of wireless Internet and interactivity with its own unique characteristics namely, mobility, portability and flexibility. One of the devices that have made this form of computing a reality is the tablet device. It is also a device identified to make a significant impact in encouraging the use of the Internet and ICT generally among the older population. However, there is limited study on the reasons older adults adopt and use tablet devices. Therefore, this research project aims to identify and evaluate the factors that influence the adoption, use and diffusion of tablet devices within the older population (aged 50 and above) in UK. For this purpose, a Framework of Tablet Device Adoption (FTDA), which was based mainly on the Decomposed Theory of Planned Behaviour (DTPB) with the inclusion of an extra construct Trust, was developed. In particular, the hypothesised constructs included nine variables namely: Compatibility, Perceived Ease of Use, Perceived Usefulness, Trust, Attitude, Subjective Norm, Perceived Behavioural Control, Intention to Use and Actual Use. Furthermore, a quantitative approach for data collection was employed to test the FTDA model. The data collection was conducted in three phases including, content validity, pilot phase and the final phase. Data was collated through an online survey, which produced 203 completed responses for the pilot phase and 1,008 completed responses for the final phase. In addition, to validate the result of the quantitative study, qualitative method in the form of telephone interviews was employed. Result showed that attitude has the strongest effect on the intention to use tablets, while perceived usefulness had the strongest impact on attitude. In addition, the impact of attitude on intention was moderated by age and health status while the impact of perceived behavioural control was moderated by age. Findings also revealed that ailments such as anxiety disorder, vision impairments and learning difficulties impacted on adoption and use. In conclusion, this study contributes to a growing body of knowledge on older adults’ adoption and use of tablet and mobile devices. Specifically, it addresses the gap relating to the adoption, use and diffusion of tablets by older adults in Hertfordshire, UK and identifies significant factors that impact on an older adult’s adoption and use of the tablet device. In addition, it also provides information regarding the generational difference existing within the older population of 50 years and over.
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