Volume 14(3), 2018-11, 297—323

A scoping review exploration of the intended and unintended consequences of eHeath on older people: A health equity impact assessment

Mei Lan Fang
STAR Institute
Simon Fraser University
Canada

and

School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society
Heriot-Watt University

UK

Ellie Siden
STAR Institute
Simon Fraser University
Canada

Anastasia Korol
STAR Institute
Simon Fraser University
Canada

Marie-Anne Demestihas
STAR Institute
Simon Fraser University
Canada

and

Imperial College London
Imperial College Business School
UK

Judith Sixsmith
School of Nursing and Health Sciences
University of Dundee
UK

Andrew Sixsmith
STAR Institute
Simon Fraser University
Canada

eHealth is one perceived mechanism to extend the range and reach of limited health-care resources for older adults. A decade-scoping review (2007–2017) was conducted to systematically search and synthesize evidence to understand the intended and unintended consequences of eHealth initiatives, informed by a health equity impact assessment framework. Scoping review sources included international academic and grey literature on eHealth initiatives (e.g., eHealth records, telemedicine/telecare, and mobile eHealth application) focused on the varying needs of older adults (aged 60+), particularly individuals experiencing sociocultural and economic difficulties. Findings suggest that eHealth has several potential benefits for older adults, but also the possibility of further excluding already marginalized groups, thereby exacerbating existing health disparities. Ongoing evaluation of eHealth initiatives for older adults is necessary and requires attention to unique individual-level, socioeconomic, and cultural characteristics to heighten benefits and better capture both the intended and unintended outcomes of advanced eHealth systems.

Peer review seal