Older adults' use of self-monitoring technology within the context of their daily experiences

Shannon T. Mejía, Tuan Pham, Ronald Metoyer, Karen Hooker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Self-monitoring technologies are designed to support processes of self-monitoring, self-reflection, and action. Objective: This study considers the daily socioemotional experiences that precede and immediately follow older adults' use of a self-monitoring application that provided visual summaries of personal data. Methods: The 100-day Personal Understanding of Life and Social Experiences Project provided information on older adults' daily experiences and application use (n = 99, 87% female, age e = 52 - 88). Every day, participants answered surveys on their experiences and interacted with a web application that offered visual summaries of their goal progress, affect, social satisfaction, and optimism. Technology use was measured as the duration of use, user engagement with the visual summaries, and the presentation of experiences as above or below the person's moving-average. Results: Multilevel analyses showed technology use to be greater following reports of lower well-being on that day, with the exception of perceived stress, which was related to less use. Technology use was most supportive of the next day's behaviors following feedback that, for individual participants, reports of goal progress and well-being on that day were lower than the person's average. Conclusion: Older adults' patterns of technology use suggest that self-monitoring technologies are more likely to be used in times of need. Stress was a barrier to technology use. Self-monitoring technologies and interventions should be designed with mindfulness that use follows reports of lower, rather than greater well-being. The implications for selfmonitoring technology use on subsequent behavior depends on the context in which the technology was used.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2020


  • Health technology
  • health behaviors
  • intra-individual processes
  • visual feedback
  • self-monitoring technology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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