Recent findings from CREATE III indicate that a simple to use Personalized Reminder Information and Social Management System (PRISM 1.0) software application designed for older adults was beneficial in terms of enhancing social support, reducing feelings of social isolation and increasing general well-being among older people living alone, ?at risk? for social isolation. Participants also indicated that they enjoyed using the system; it made life easier and was easy to use. PRISM was designed to support social connectivity, procedural and prospective memory, knowledge about topics and resources (relevant to seniors) and resource access. In the proposed study, we will evaluate an expanded version of PRISM (PRISM 2.0) with diverse populations of older adults in diverse contexts. PRISM 2.0 will have expanded functionality (e.g., videoconferencing) and new platforms (tablet), be available in Spanish, and evaluated in rural locations, assisted living facilities and senior housing units. The system will be compared to a standard computer tablet alone control condition. The goal of the study is to gather rigorous systematic evidence about the value of the enhanced version of PRISM with other older adults who live in other contexts. We will also gather data to identify individual difference factors that affect use, usability, acceptance and adoption of the PRISM 2.0 system and longitudinal data on the benefits of the system. Participants (aged 65+) will be randomly assigned, following baseline assessment, to one of the two conditions. We will build on the protocols developed for the PRISM 1.0 trial. The trial intervention period will be 9-months. A battery of measures (refined from the PRISM 1.0 trial) that includes demographic information, attitudes towards technology, computer proficiency, technology, computer and Internet experience, functional independence and well-being, social support/isolation, and quality of life will be administered at baseline, and 5 and 9 months post randomization. We will also assess cognitive abilities at baseline and 9 months. We will also conduct interviews at 5 and 9 months and a telephone interview at 15 months. The living contexts will vary by site according to site characteristics (e.g., FSU has access to rural populations) to allow us to examine a broader and more diverse sample and living contexts. Phase 1 will involve: cross-site focus groups with a sample of older adults to obtain their initial perceptions of the system and feedback about proposed applications (N = 75); pilot testing; refinement of the system and training protocols; and modification of PRISM materials. Phase 2 will be the actual implementation of the trial (N = 258).

Public Health Relevance

Although technology can enhance the quality of life of older adults, the existing digital divide threatens that opportunity. We need to understand barriers influencing technology use by older adults. This project will evaluate an enhanced version of the ?successful? PRISM 1.0 system with diverse older adults in diverse contexts. We will examine issues related to technology experience, social support and isolation, well-being and quality of life. We will also gather important information related to ongoing technology use.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Research Program Projects (P01)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZAG1-ZIJ-4)
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University of Miami School of Medicine
Domestic Higher Education
Coral Gables
United States
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Evans, Jarrett; Charness, Neil; Dijkstra, Katinka et al. (2018) Is episodic memory performance more vulnerable to depressive affect in older adulthood? Neuropsychol Dev Cogn B Aging Neuropsychol Cogn :1-20
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