Use of digital health-care services during the first wave of COVID-19 pandemics among ageing population in Latvia

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


The objective of the study was to analyse reasons for not using digital technologies among older population to receive health-care services. By using information on demographic background variables from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE), the respondents 50+ years were asked to answer additional questions relevant to the Latvian context, like access to digital devices, affordability, knowledge, thus focusing on social and age inequality that might affect different areas of life, including ability to use health-care services remotely. Pearson’s chi-squared test was performed to assess the association between variables on a representative sample consisting of 977 respondents in Latvia. The mean age of the respondents was 69 years (± SD 9.92). The results showed that 593 persons (61%) used digital technologies during the first wave of Covid-19 pandemic in Latvia, mostly for communication with family and friends as well as acquisition of information (90%). There were no considerable gender differences as regards the use of digital devices in general (p>0.05), neither their use to receive health care services (36%, p>0.05). Even though there was an overall small proportion of those who had affordability problems (8%), more than twice of women than men responded that it was too expensive (p<0.001). Of all respondents 8% had health-related, e.g. cognitive, limitations to use digital technologies. Even though the ageing population is actively using digital technologies to communicate and search information, considerable improvements and education to encourage to use health-care services, make purchases can still be made. An awareness that almost one of ten older persons can be left out of health-care services due to affordability problems, should be also considered to ensure equal access to basic needs.VPP-COVID-2020/1-0011 “Impact of COVID-19 on health care system and public health in Latvia; ways in preparing health sector for future epidemics”.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 24 Mar 2021
EventRSU Research week 2021: Society. Health. Welfare - Rīga Stradiņš University, Rīga, Latvia
Duration: 24 Mar 202126 Mar 2021
Conference number: 8


ConferenceRSU Research week 2021: Society. Health. Welfare
Internet address

Field of Science*

  • 3.3 Health sciences

Publication Type*

  • 3.4. Other publications in conference proceedings (including local)


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