Computer and Internet use in physically frail elders

Matthew Malcolm, William C. Mann, Machiko R. Tomita, Linda F. Fraas, Ma Kathleen M. Stanton, Laura Gitlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


A study was designed to investigate the feasibility of computer-based communication to monitor self-care needs of older persons with disabilities. As a preliminary measure, tracking software was used to observe patterns of computer and Internet use. This case study report of 5 physically frail elders found that study participants primarily used e-mail, accessed health related Internet sites, and played computer games. These individuals reported that having access to this technology allowed them to feel less isolated from their family, better informed about health issues, and more socially connected. The findings also suggest patterns of use that could assist in implementing computer based communication programs for older persons with disabilities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-32
Number of pages18
JournalPhysical and Occupational Therapy in Geriatrics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Assistive technology
  • Computer based communication
  • Frail elderly
  • Internet

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Gerontology
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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