Orekh E.A. Between Age and Digitalisation: Health Care Practices of Elderly People in St Petersburg

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/lp.jvolsu.2022.3.13

Ekaterina A. Orekh
Candidate of Sciences (Sociology), Associate Professor, Department of Theory and History of Sociology, Saint Petersburg State University
Smolnogo St, 1/3, 191060 Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation
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Abstract. The article reveals the view of the 60+ age group in relation to appreciable digitalisation trends of the health-care sector. The purpose of the article is to analyse the situation of using digital ways to take health care among elderly residents of the Russian city. We would like to reconstruct their views of the new practices, using qualitative sociological methodology. A telephone survey of 861 residents of St Petersburg was conducted in August 2021 using a quota sample to assess the extent to which digital technology has been integrated into health practices. 90 semi-structured interviews were conducted (14 interviews with the 60+ age group) between October 2020 and April 2021. The interviews served as one source of explanation for the trends found in the survey. Data from the telephone survey gave an insight into how much the elderly "60+" differ in their practices from other age groups. There was also an analysis of differences in the way in which the elderly group cared for their health. It turns out that there is a sharp decline in digital activity at age 65+. Members of the 60+ group are less likely to use practices such as remote communication with a doctor, digital self-tracking, taking care of emotional well-being, visiting specialised online communities, watching bloggers' posts about health, participating in marathons and games. What these ways of caring for health have in common is the parameter of 'novelty'. However, the problem is not only the inability of older people to adopt new practices quickly. According to the interviews, one of the reasons why the 60+ age group is less engaged in digital health practices is their perception of what is useful and rational.
Key words: digitalisation of health, health care practices, telephone survey, interviews, content analysis, 60+ age group.

Citation. Orekh E.A. Between Age and Digitalisation: Health Care Practices of Elderly People in St Petersburg. Logos et Praxis, 2022, vol. 21, no. 3, pp. 120-132. (in Russian). DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/lp.jvolsu.2022.3.13

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Between Age and Digitalisation: Health Care Practices of Elderly People in St Petersburg by Orekh E.A. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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