Year of Publication

2007

Date of Thesis

05-2007

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Communications (School)

Subject Categories

Older people -- Social networks; Medical personnel and patient; Older people -- Health and hygiene -- Information resources; Cerebrovascular disease -- Information resources

Abstract

The Administration on Aging in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimated that by 2030, the population of older adults aged 65 and above will be about 71.5 million. A matter of concern among the older population is the increased incidents of stroke. At the same time, there is an increasing number of older adults living in environments such as congregate facilities, where information on health issues from peers, in addition to professionals, is readily available. However, it is relatively unknown how older adults living within this environment assess the sources of health information, or about the influence of sources with which they have emotional bonds. In this study, the emotions that influence the way older adults evaluate sources of health information, including sources of information about stroke, are explored by using a qualitative methodological approach. Unstructured interviews were conducted on three separate occasions with each participant, with six participants in total. One main theoretical and practical insight concerns the impact of various networks on participants, as well as the emotions that participants encountered with connection to the information sources. Message sources positioned within the overlapping network influences are then assessed based on their perceived emotional ties. The participants regarded the emotion of comfort as arising from the center of their network of influences, which is an overlap of information, social or peer groups, and close relationship networks.

Included in

Communication Commons

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