The impact of media type on shared decision processes in third-age populations

Iris Reychav, Inam Najami, Daphne Ruth Raban, Roger McHaney, Joseph Azuri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Purpose: To examine the relationship between the media, through which medical information was made available (e.g. digital versus printed), and the patients’ desire to play an active part in a medical decision in an SDM or an ISDM-based process. The goal of this research was to expand knowledge concerning social and personal factors that affect and explain patients’ willingness to participate in the process. Methods: A questionnaire was distributed in this empirical study of 103 third-age participants. A theoretical model formed the basis for the study and utilized a variety of factors from technology acceptance, as well as personal and environmental influences to investigate the likelihood of subjects preferring a certain decision-making approach. The research population included men and women aged 65 or older who resided in five assisted living facilities in Israel. The sample was split randomly into 2 groups. One group used digital information and the other print. A path analysis was conducted, using Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) in AMOS SPSS, to determine the influence of the information mode of presentation on the patient's choice of the SDM or ISDM model. Results: When digital media was accessible, the information's perceived usefulness (PU) led participants to choose an ISDM-based process; this was not true with printed information. When information was available online, higher self-efficacy (SE) led participants to prefer an SDM-based process. When the information was available in print, a direct positive influence was found on the participant's choice of SDM, while a direct negative influence was found on their choice of an ISDM-based process. PU was found to be affected by external peer influences, particularly when resources were made available in print. This meant that digital resources tended to be accepted at face value more readily. Cognitive absorption had a positive effect on the research variables only when the information was available digitally. The findings suggest the use of digital information may be related to cognitive functions of older adults, since the use of digital technology and information requires more cognitive effort. Conclusions: The study illustrates factors that make patients choose SDM or ISDM-based processes in third-age populations. In general, the results suggest that, even though a physician may attempt to place the patient in the center of the decision process, printed information does not empower the patient in the same way that digital resources do. This may have wider ramifications if the patient does not buy into the treatment plan is and becomes less motivated to be compliant with the treatment. Another key contribution of this research is to identify processes that reflect information assessment and adoptions, and the behaviors related to medical decision making, both as a model and as a process. This study suggests what health care professionals should expect to see as the transition to more digital information sources becomes the norm among the elderly population. Future research is needed to examine this model under different conditions, and to check for other variables and mechanisms perceived as mediators in the choice of SDM or ISDM processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-58
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Medical Informatics
StatePublished - Apr 2018


  • Aged
  • Assisted living
  • Digital media
  • Informed Shared Decision Making
  • Shared Decision Making
  • Technology acceptance


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