Rita Bauer, Technische Universität Dresden
Tasha Glenn, ChronoRecord Association
Sergio Strejilevich, 3
Jörn Conell, Technische Universität Dresden
Martin Alda, Dalhousie University
Raffaella Ardau, University Hospital of Cagliari
Bernhard T. Baune, University of Adelaide
Michael Berk, 8
Yuly Bersudsky, Ben Gurion University of the Negev
Amy Bilderbeck, University of Oxford
Alberto Bocchetta, University of Cagliari
Angela Marianne Paredes Castro, Deakin University
Eric Y. W. Cheung, Castle Peak Hospital, Hong Kong
Caterina Chillotti, University Hospital of Cagliari
Sabine Choppin, Hôpitaux Universitaires Henri-Mondor
Alessandro Cuomo, 18
Maria Del Zompo, University of Cagliari
Rodrigo Dias, University of São Paulo
Seetal Dodd, Deakin University
Anne Duffy, University of Calgary
Bruno Etain, Hôpitaux Universitaires Henri-Mondor
Andrea Fagiolini, University of Siena
Miryam Fernández Hernandez, 22
Julie Garnham, Dalhousie University
John Geddes, University of Oxford
Jonas Gildebro, 23
Michael J. Gitlin, 24
Ana Gonzalez-Pinto, University of the Basque Country
Guy M. Goodwin, University of Oxford
Paul Grof, Mood Disorders Center of Ottawa
Hirohiko Harima, Tokyo Metropolitan Matsuzawa Hospital
Stefanie Hassel, Aston University
Chantal Henry, 21
Diego Hidalgo‑Mazzei, 30
Anne Hvenegaard Lund, Aarhus University Hospital
Vaisnvy Kapur, NIMHANS
Girish Kunigiri, Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust
Beny Lafer, University of São Paulo
Erik Roj Larsen, Aarhus University Hospital
Ute Lewitzka, Technische Universität Dresden
Ramus Licht, Aalborg University Hospital
Blazej Misiak, Wroclaw Medical University
Patryk Piotrowski, Wroclaw Medical University
Ângela Miranda-Scippa, 38
Scott Monteith, Michigan State University
Rodrigo Munoz, University of California, San Diego
Takako Nakanotani, Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Medical Science
René E. Nielsen, Aalborg University Hospital
Claire O'Donovan, Dalhousie University
Yasushi Okamura, Tokyo Metropolitan Matsuzawa Hospital
Yamima Osher, Ben Gurion University of the Negev
Andreas Reif, 42
Philipp Ritter, Technische Universität Dresden
Janusz K. Rybakowski, Poznan University of Medical Science
Kemal Sagduyu, University of Missouri - Kansas City
Brett Sawchuk, University of Calgary
Elon Schwartz, 42
Claire Slaney, Dalhousie University
Ahmad Hatim Sulaiman, University of Malaya
Kirsi Suominen, City of Helsinki, Department of Social Services and Health Care
Aleksandra Suwalska, Poznan University of Medical Sciences
Peter Tam, University of Hong Kong
Yoshitaka Tatebayashi, Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Medical Science
Leonardo Tondo, Harvard Medical School
Julia Veeh, 42
Eduard Vieta, University of Barcelona
Maj Vinberg, Psychiatric Center Copenhagen
Biju Viswanath, NIMHANS
Mark Zetin, Chapman UniversityFollow
Peter C. Whybrow, University of California, Los Angeles
Michael Bauer, Technische Universität Dresden

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Background: The world population is aging and the number of older adults with bipolar disorder is increasing. Digital technologies are viewed as a framework to improve care of older adults with bipolar disorder. This analysis quantifies Internet use by older adults with bipolar disorder as part of a larger survey project about information seeking.

Methods: A paper-based survey about information seeking by patients with bipolar disorder was developed and translated into 12 languages. The survey was anonymous and completed between March 2014 and January 2016 by 1222 patients in 17 countries. All patients were diagnosed by a psychiatrist. General estimating equations were used to account for correlated data.

Results: Overall, 47% of older adults (age 60 years or older) used the Internet versus 87% of younger adults (less than 60 years). More education and having symptoms that interfered with regular activities increased the odds of using the Internet, while being age 60 years or older decreased the odds. Data from 187 older adults and 1021 younger adults were included in the analysis excluding missing values.

Conclusions: Older adults with bipolar disorder use the Internet much less frequently than younger adults. Many older adults do not use the Internet, and technology tools are suitable for some but not all older adults. As more health services are only available online, and more digital tools are developed, there is concern about growing health disparities based on age. Mental health experts should participate in determining the appropriate role for digital tools for older adults with bipolar disorder.


This article was originally published in International Journal of Bipolar Disorders, volume 6, in 2018. DOI: 10.1186/s40345-018-0127-7

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