The Use of Auditory Presentations in Assisting Older Adults for Processing Healthcare Information
The present study examined the extent to which different auditory presentations could assist the older adult to better retain browsed healthcare information as a function of sound orientation. 18 students from a local university (serving as a control) and 20 older adults aged over 65 from a local lifelong learning Center were recruited to participate in a 2 × 3 × 2 slit-plot factorial experiment where age, auditory display and sound orientation were manipulated as independent variables. The auditory display was a within-subject factor consisting of narration, earcon, and narration plus earcon. Sound orientation was a between-subject factor comprising treatment levels of presence and non-presence. Perusal performance was evaluated by recall hit rate and the subject’s preference. Preliminary results indicated that the older subject was significantly disadvantaged as compared to the young counterpart. Auditory information presented with sound orientation resulted in better recall performance. The narration plus earcon interface outperformed the other two auditory conditions in terms of recall hit rates and subjective preference. Both the older and young groups reported that inclusion of auditory display improved their memory and attention with earcon plus narration receiving the most favorable preference. Sound orientation, however, was not considered by both age groups as resulting in perceived assistance.
KeywordsAuditory interface Cognitive aging Human factors
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