For the second year in a row, Associate Professor Bo Xie has been awarded a grant from the NIH’s National Institute on Aging to improve older adults’ eHealth literacy.
The $425,208 grant will enable Dr. Xie to conduct a two-year project titled “Developing an eHealth Tutorial for Older Adults to Use Online Health Resources.”
The study aims to develop, refine, and pilot test an innovative intervention for improving older adults’ eHealth literacy, Dr. Xie said.
“Key to this intervention is an integrated eHealth tutorial featuring an instructional overlay added onto an actual health information website,” she said.
Development of the tutorial is enabled by an Online Tutorial Overlay Presenter (OnTOP), which Dr. Xie described as a novel computer program that builds on recent developments in visual recognition technology and enables the development of tutorials that can reduce the demand on learners’ cognitive abilities. For instance, an overlay could highlight important links or provide explanatory text on the screen itself.
Dr. Xie’s co-investigator is Tom Yeh, an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Colorado at Boulder. The project, which is scheduled to conclude in April 2019, expands on Dr. Xie’s previous work on older adults' learning and use of technology.
In spring 2017, she received a separate grant from the National Institute on Aging for a study titled “Boosting Older Adults’ Cognition by Training Real-World eHealth Skills.” In that project, Dr. Xie is developing a three-month curriculum that incorporates problem sets and activities to help older adults become more familiar with the Internet so they can make informed choices about health and medicine.