Research Article| Volume 156, P60-64, February 2022

Non-use of information and communication technology as a predictor of frailty in postmenopausal midlife and older women


      • Frailty was found in 33.0% of our sample of 409 postmenopausal midlife and older women.
      • Information and communication technology, including tablets, computers or smartphones, was used by 258 (63.1%) of the women.
      • Social media, (WhatsApp or Facebook), were used by 223 (86.4%) of those 258 women.
      • Non-use of information and communication technology was an independent predictor of frailty in our postmenopausal cohort.



      Frailty is a clinically discernible state in which decreased physiological reserve and function result in a reduced ability to cope with stressors. Information and communication technology (ICT) has been proposed as an aid to help with frailty, yet the use of ICT by older people, particularly women, is an understudied area.


      To analyze the association between use of ICT (specifically internet functions and social media) and frailty status in postmenopausal midlife and elderly women.


      A cross-sectional study was designed to investigate whether frailty status is related to ICT use in postmenopausal midlife and older women. Community-dwelling women attending primary health care centers for health checks were invited to participate in the study. Postmenopausal status was the only inclusion criterion, whereas limitations that could interfere with use of ICT were exclusion criteria. The Fried phenotype was used to assess frailty. Four types of ICT use were examined: the internet for e-mail, the internet for other functions, and social media (WhatsApp or Facebook). Chi-square test and multivariate multinomial regression analysis were used to examine the association between frailty status and ICT use.


      We included 409 women (age = 67.45 ± 7.81 years, mean ± SD), who were frail (n = 135, 33.01%), pre-frail (n = 159, 38.87%), or robust (n  =  115, 28.11%). Frailty status was significantly and inversely associated with any ICT use, showing a strong association with use of WhatsApp (P < 0.001) and internet searches (P < 0.001). ICT non-use was a predictor of frailty, while ICT users were more likely to be robust (OR 10.62; 95% [CI], 5.34–21.10) or pre-frail (OR 9.03; [CI], 95% 5.18–15.74).


      Postmenopausal midlife and older women not using ICT were more likely to be frail.


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