Factors associated with openness to research participation in an aging community: The importance of technophilia and social cohesion

Joshua R. Steinerman, Richard B. Lipton, Bruce D. Rapkin, Brian R. Quaranto, Carolyn E. Schwartz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background As technological advances modify the standard implementation approaches for health-related research, it becomes increasingly necessary to be comfortable with computers and the internet, to be able to participate in research. We sought to investigate how inclination toward technology (technophilia) and openness to research participation (ORP) co-vary, and what patient factors relate to technophilia. We focus on attitudes regarding research participation and technology in a diverse urban community. Methods 214 residents over age 50 participated in a community interview survey. Unidimensionality of the technophilia and ORP constructs was evaluated via factor analysis, and scores were calculated using the weighted sum of factor loadings. Among the subgroup with any reported computer experience, linear regression evaluated predictors of technophilia. Hierarchical modeling assessed predictors of ORP, including technophilia. Results The sample included African-American (58%), White (27%), and Hispanic (12%) participants with a mean age of 70.9 years; 77% were female, and 57% had a college education. 131 individuals (61%) reported "any experience with computers", among whom univariate predictors of technophilia were younger age (p=0.001), higher education (p=0.03), not being widowed (p=0.04), and better self-reported health (p=0.003). Multivariate modeling demonstrated that technophilia and one's sense of social cohesion were consistent predictors of ORP. Conclusions Technophilia was a consistent predictor of ORP, and social cohesion added additional predictive ability. Aging research which incorporates technology could be more efficiently recruiting participants by measuring and considering technophilia and social cohesion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)504-512
Number of pages9
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2013


  • Community-based research
  • Elderly
  • Feasibility
  • Social cohesion
  • Technophilia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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