Short paper at ASIS&T Annual Meeting in London together with Kristina Eriksson-Backa, Heidi Enwald and Noora Hirvonen.
Despite older adults being one of the most important groups of users of eHealth services, including patient accessible electronic health records, these are claimed not to be designed to suit older users, and to not necessarily fulfill their information needs. User-centered design methods often utilized when developing eHealth services have also been claimed not to work well for older adults. This paper suggests an alternative way of collecting ideas and feedback on eHealth from older adults, by including open-ended questions in the data collection of larger studies on eHealth information behavior. When data are collected by methods like focus group interviews and surveys, older adults can be requested to envision an eHealth service that suits their needs. Results from studies in Finland are presented, and show that current eHealth services do not fulfill all information needs of older adults, as answers to the question in both focus group interviews and surveys contain practical suggestions for additional and more comprehensible information, easier ways of searching for needed information, and alternative channels for communication. Open-ended questions can be a cost-effective and timesaving way to help in the design and development of patient accessible electronic health records and other types of eHealth services.