While eHealth technologies are promisingly efficient and widespread, theoretical frameworks capable of predicting long-term use, termed continuance, are lacking. Attempts to extend prominent information technology (IT) theories to the area of eHealth have been limited by small sample sizes, cross-sectional designs, self-reported as opposed to actual use measures, and a focus on technology adoption rather than continuance. To address these gaps in the literature, this analysis includes empirical evidence of actual use of an eHealth technology over the course of one year. This large (n = 4,570) longitudinal study focuses on older adults, a population with many health needs and among whom eHealth use may be particularly important. With three measurement points over the course of a year, this study examined the effects of utilitarian and hedonic beliefs on the continued use of an eHealth newsletter using constructs from IT adoption and continuance theories. Additional analyses compared the relative strength of intentions compared to earlier use in predicting later use. Usage intention was strongly predicted by both hedonic beliefs and utilitarian beliefs. In addition, utilitarian beliefs had both direct effects on intention and indirect effects, mediated by hedonic beliefs. While intention predicted subsequent use, earlier use was a significantly stronger predictor of use than intention. These findings make a theoretical contribution to an emerging literature by shedding light on the complex interplay of reasoned action and automaticity in the context of eHealth continuance.
- continuance of use,
- older adults,
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/andysltan/19/