To the top

Page Manager: Webmaster
Last update: 9/11/2012 3:13 PM

Tell a friend about this page
Print version

Internet use and self-rat… - University of Gothenburg, Sweden Till startsida
To content Read more about how we use cookies on

Internet use and self-rated health among Swedish 70-year-olds: a cross-sectional study

Journal article
Authors Hanna Falk
Felicia Ahlnér
Therese Rydberg Sterner
Ingmar Skoog
Annika Bergström
Published in BMC Geriatrics
Volume 19
Issue 1
ISSN 1471-2318
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Journalism, Media and Communication (JMG)
Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry
Centre for Ageing and Health (Agecap)
Language en
Keywords Digital divide, Internet use, Self-rated health
Subject categories Media and Communications, Health Sciences


Abstract Background: The Internet is increasingly becoming an infrastructure for a number of services, both commercial, public (including health related) and personal. Using the internet have the potential to promote social interaction and social connectedness by upholding social networks and social contacts. However, Internet use is lower in older adults compared to other age groups. This digital divide is considered a risk to the health of older adults since it limits their participation in society, access and use of relevant health related information and services. This study focuses on whether there is an association between Internet use and self-rated health. Method: A cross-sectional population-based sample of 70-year-olds from The Gothenburg H70 Birth Cohort Study (n=1136) was examined in 2014–16. All data was collected using structured interviews and questionnaires. Differences in proportions were tested with chi-square test and ordinary least square regression analysis was used to estimate the relationship between Internet use and self-rated health controlling for health factors, hearing and visual impairment, and social contacts. Results: There is a relationship between more frequent Internet use and good self-rated health (unstandardized β 0.101 p<0.001), and the effect remained after adjusting for all covariates (unstandardized β 0.082 p<0.001). Our results also show that, in comparison to health factors, Internet use is of minor importance to the SRH of older adults, since adding these improved the explanatory power of the model by approximately 400% (from 0.04 to 0.18). Conclusion: Although the direction of the relationship between more frequent interne use and better self-rated health is undetermined in the present study, it can be suggested that using the Internet informs and educates older adults, strengthening their position as active and engaged participants of society. It can also be suggested that those using the Internet report less loneliness and a possibility to establish new computer-mediated relationships within online communities. Further research needs to examine what aspects of Internet use, and in what contexts such positive perceptions arise.

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

The University of Gothenburg uses cookies to provide you with the best possible user experience. By continuing on this website, you approve of our use of cookies.  What are cookies?