Thursday, 5 July 2012

Enactment and use of information and the media among older adults

an article by Raimo Niemelä, Maija-Leena Huotari and Terttu Kortelainen (University of Oulu, Finland) published in Library & Information Science Research Volume 34 Issue 3 (July 2012)


Active use of information and the media may promote healthy ageing.

The everyday information behaviour of older adults’ is examined, and the activating role of the media thereon – that is, the use of television, radio, newspapers, magazines, and the Internet. Enactment, an evidence-based concept, is introduced as a theoretical tool that refers to the phenomenon of information and media use leading to action in concrete daily activities.

The research strategy was qualitative, consisting of content analysis of semi-structured interviews of 13 retired teachers and the media diaries of 306 older adult Finns. Fifteen categories of information and media use were proposed and grouped into four forms of enactment on the basis of their temporal nature, namely, direct or indirect engagement: 1) general routines and housework, 2) healthy lifestyle, 3) cognitive tasks, and 4) interaction with others.

Enactment takes place when older adults’ everyday information behaviour leads to observable actions, such as organizing their daily activities, preparing food, exercising and engaging in healthy activities, practising language skills, or filling in crossword puzzles. These findings support the notion that use of information and the media can motivate older adults to stay active in life. Therefore, the concept of enactment may prove useful in gaining a better understanding of certain physical, cognitive, and social aspects of everyday information behaviour and their impact on people’s well-being.

However, the findings should be validated in a broader population.


► Use of information and the media can promote healthy aging.
► An activating role of information and the media was revealed.
► The concept of enactment is a theoretical tool to use with information and media use.
► Time value and timing in information use are pointed.
► Enactment relates to health, cognitive tasks, and social interaction.

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