A Protocol Paper on the Preservation of Identity: Understanding the Technology Adoption Patterns of Older Adults With Age-Related Vision Loss (ARVL)

Colleen McGrath*, Monica L. Molinaro, Elena J. Sheldrake, Debbie Laliberte Rudman, Arlene Astell

*Corresponding author for this work

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There are a growing number of older adults with age-related vision loss (ARVL) for whom technology holds promise in supporting their engagement in daily activities. Despite the growing presence of technologies intended to support older adults with ARVL, there remains high rates of abandonment. This phenomenon of technology abandonment may be partly explained by the concept of self-image, meaning that older adults with ARVL avoid the use of particular technologies due to an underlying fear that use of such technologies may mark them as objects of pity, ridicule, and/or stigmatization. In response to this, the proposed study aims to understand how the decision-making processes of older adults with ARVL, as it relates to technology adoption, are influenced by the negotiation of identity. The study protocol will justify the need for this critical ethnographic study; unpack the theoretical underpinnings of this work; detail the sampling/recruitment strategy; and describe the methods which included a home tour, go-along, and semistructured in-depth interview, as well as the collective approach taken to analyze the data. The protocol concludes by examining the ethical tensions associated with this study, including a focus on the methods adopted as well as the ethical challenges inherent when working with an older adult population experiencing vision loss.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Qualitative Methods
Publication statusPublished - 13 Apr 2019
Externally publishedYes

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