Learning to use a home medical device: Mediating age-related differences with training

Amy L. Mykityshyn, Arthur D. Fisk, Wendy A. Rogers

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


We examined the differential benefits of instructional materials for younger and older adults learning to use a home medical device. Participants received training on use of a blood glucose meter via either a user manual (a text guide with pictures) or an instructional video. Performance was measured immediately and then after a 2-week retention interval. Type of instruction was critical for determining older adults' performance. Older adults trained using the manual had poorer performance than did all other groups. After only 1 calibration, older adults who received video training performed as accurately as did the younger adults. Older adults' performance was more influenced by the retention interval; however, the benefit of the video training was maintained for the older adults across the retention interval. Confidence ratings paralleled subjective workload ratings. The data provide practical information to guide the development of training programs for systems that will be used by both younger and older adults; they also demonstrate the need for age-related usability testing even for training program design.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)354-364
Number of pages11
JournalHuman Factors
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Applied Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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