The Usability of Personal Digital Assistants as Prospective Memory Aids for Medication Adherence in Young and Older Adults
Author(s)Lanzolla, Vincent Rocco
Contributor(s)Sharolyn Converse Lane, Committee Member
Michael S. Wogalter, Committee Member
Christopher B. Mayhorn, Committee Chair
personal digital assisstants
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AbstractMedication adherence is essential to retaining functional independence into older adulthood. In the experiment reported here, 25 older and 26 young adults were asked to learn to use medication adherence software supported by a personal digital assistant (PDA). In addition to completing a battery of cognitive tests, each participant's PDA skill acquisition was assessed over time (i.e., during training, immediately following training, and after a delay). Consistent with previous research, older adults required longer to learn to use the PDA and committed more errors compared to younger adults. Cognitive predictors of PDA performance included spatial ability, perceptual speed, and particularly reading comprehension. Over time, age differences in PDA performance were reduced suggesting that older adults might benefit from the use of PDAs as prospective memory aids.