What Do You Need to Know to Stay Healthy? – Health Information Needs and Seeking Behaviour of Older Adults in Germany

  • Sabine TheisEmail author
  • Dajana Schäfer
  • Katharina Schäfer
  • Peter Rasche
  • Matthias Wille
  • Nicole Jochems
  • Alexander Mertens
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 822)


Deep understanding of users’ needs is crucial for developing successful digital health technology. At the beginning of system development, it is thus important to analyze and specify the context of use within the users-centered development process. Knowing what patients need to know about their health and which information sources they apply to find those, bears implications for personal health ICT conveying health information to the elderly patient. Present results from a survey on health information need and seeking behaviour of N = 551 older adults in Germany suggest that older adults are fairly satisfied with the information they get, indicating a low need to acquire health information. Higher health information need corresponds with a larger amount of health apps installed on older adults tablet PC and with the usage of smartwatches and apps in general. Finally, results support the theoretical influence of demographic variables. Here, educational attainment significantly revealed to be a main influence on information need.


Health information need Information seeking behavior Gerontology eHealth Context analysis Older adults Ageing 



This publication is part of the research project “TECH4AGE,” financed by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF, under Grant No: 16SV7111) and promoted by VDI/VDE Innovation + Technik GmbH.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Chair and Institute of Industrial Engineering and ErgonomicsRWTH Aachen UniversityAachenGermany
  2. 2.Institute for Multimedia and Interactive Systems (IMIS)University of LübeckLübeckGermany

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