Author ORCID Identifier

Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Health Sciences


Rehabilitation Sciences

First Advisor

Joneen Lowman, PhD, CCC-SLP

Second Advisor

Ramona Carper, PT, DPT


During the COVID-19 pandemic, telehealth became an increasingly widespread service delivery model. Not all populations, however, accessed telehealth services equally. Older adults were less likely to use telehealth during the pandemic, continuing a historical trend. These usage patterns persist despite evidence that telehealth could be a helpful service delivery option for this population. Researchers have explored how theoretical frameworks explain older adults’ decisions to use technology, but there is yet to be a measure of older adults’ readiness for telehealth technology. A validated, theory-backed tool of older adults’ perceptions about telehealth, prior to the health care encounter, could help clinicians and families identify and address telehealth access barriers.

The purpose of this study was the preliminary psychometric validation of a measure of telehealth readiness for older adults in Kentucky based on a previously validated questionnaire. The study also investigates the potential importance of sensory impairments, like vision or hearing loss, on older adults’ decisions about telehealth.

As part of a convergent mixed methods design, 103 quantitative surveys and 24 qualitative interviews were completed with older adults in Kentucky. Data were analyzed quantitatively for validity and reliability, and qualitatively to further validate quantitative results. Merged results are presented for comparison of the quantitative and qualitative findings.

Results provide preliminary evidence for a theoretically backed telehealth readiness tool for older adults in Kentucky. Findings suggest some theoretical constructs may be stronger predictors than others in determining older adults’ intent to use telehealth. Limitations and clinical applications of this tool are provided, as well as suggestions for future research.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Funding Information

University of Kentucky College of Health Sciences Rehabilitation and Health Sciences Endowed University Professor in Health Sciences fund, 2021

Kentucky Speech-Language-Hearing Association Steckol Memorial Fund Scholarship, 2021

The project was supported by participant recruitment services via the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences through grant number UL1TR001998. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH.

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