A Scoping Review Exploration of the Intended and Unintended Consequences of eHealth on Older People: A Health Equity Impact Assessment

Mei Lan  Fang, Ellie Siden, Anastasia Korol, Marie-Anne Demestihas, Judith Sixsmith, Andrew Sixsmith

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eHealth is one perceived mechanism to extend the range and reach of limited healthcare resources for older adults. A decade scoping review (2007-2017) was conducted to systematically search and synthesize evidence to understand the intended and unintended consequences of eHealth initiatives, informed by a health equity impact assessment framework. Scoping review sources included international academic and grey literature on eHealth initiatives (e.g. eHealth records, telemedicine/telecare and mobile eHealth application) focused on the varying needs of older adults (60+); particularly, individuals experiencing socio-cultural and economic difficulties. Findings suggest that eHealth has several potential benefits for older adults, as well as the possibility of further excluding already marginalized groups, thereby exacerbating existing health disparities. Ongoing evaluation of eHealth initiatives for older adults’ is necessary and requires attention to unique individual-level socio-economic and cultural characteristics to heighten benefits and better capture both the intended and unintended outcomes of advanced eHealth systems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)297-323
Number of pages27
JournalHuman Technology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018



  • eHealth
  • health equity impact assessment
  • scoping review
  • older adults
  • ageing and technology

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