INCLUDE Study - Digital Exclusion Amongst Older People

  • Research type

    Research Study

  • Full title

    Development of methods to identify digitally excluded older people, and tailoring of interventions to meet their digital needs.



  • Contact name

    Liz Graham

  • Contact email

  • Sponsor organisation

    Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

  • Duration of Study in the UK

    2 years, 9 months, 31 days

  • Research summary

    Older people are more likely to be ‘digitally excluded’. This refers to them not using the internet, so missing out on things that could be helpful to their well-being and health (e.g. making appointments, banking, connecting with family). Support and training is available to increase digital inclusion but there is no process in place to identify everyone needing help. Support tends to be offered when people come into contact with health, social care or community services, rather than through actively identifying people who are digitally excluded. This means that some older people who might benefit from support are not offered it, and we don’t know what support is best for them.
    This study aims to:
    • Develop an inclusive way of identifying older people who are digitally excluded
    • Explore older people’s views of the internet and what might help them get online
    • Adapt available digital support so it addresses a wide range of needs
    • Test this new approach with a group of older people
    We will send a survey to everyone aged 65+ on 2-3 GP registers to ask about their internet use. Using their responses we will develop a model that predicts who is more likely to not use the internet.
    We will talk to older people about their internet use (interviews). We will also talk to voluntary and community organisations that currently provide digital help and support to find out what they do. In workshops with older people and service providers (in a process called co-production) we will explore the needs of those who don’t use the internet. We will review and adapt existing digital support services to make them more accessible to and appropriate for people who are digitally excluded. We will test the adapted service with a group of older people to find out whether it is acceptable.

  • REC name

    Yorkshire & The Humber - Bradford Leeds Research Ethics Committee

  • REC reference


  • Date of REC Opinion

    23 Oct 2023

  • REC opinion

    Favourable Opinion