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Article Version


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Adults over the age of 60 struggle with achieving target blood pressure readings due to difficulties seeing, hearing and understanding medical information which can result in poor adherence and drug interactions that can be fatal. According to the Institute of Medicine (2000) approximately 10% of adverse drug events may be attributed to communication failure between the provider and patient. Informing patients of potential drug interactions with over-the-counter (OTC) medications, supplements and alcohol use can contribute to better blood pressure control. The Next Generation Personal Education Program (PEP-NG) was designed to improve patient care by educating both older adults and their providers about the dangers of adverse drug interactions arising from self-medication. This web based program analyzes information entered by the patient user (with a stylus on a tablet computer) and delivers tailored interactive educational content applicable to the user’s reported medication behaviors. This qualitative study demonstrated that even amongst participants that may not feel computer literate (older-age generation) it can be a useful tool for information dissemination and also a successful way to improve communication between provider and patient.


Copyright 2011 Maney Publishing for American Medical Writers Association. Post-print has been archived here with permission. Final published version available

Publication Title

Journal of Communication in Healthcare

Published Citation

Alicea-Planas, J., Neafsey, P. J., & Anderson, E. (2011). A qualitative study of older adults and computer use for health education: ‘It opens people’s eyes’. Journal of Communication in Healthcare, 4(1), 38-45. doi: 10.1179/175380611X1 2950033990179


10.1179/175380611X1 2950033990179

Peer Reviewed