This report details findings of a combined quantitative and qualitative study which aimed to understand the current behaviour and perceptions towards digital devices and internet amongst people aged 50 years and over.

The quantitative component involved 3,602 nationwide telephone surveys using a Random Digit Dialling (RDD) approach. The sample achieved delivers a statistically representative sample that provides insight into people aged 50 years and over in terms of their behaviour and attitudes towards digital devices, e.g. smartphone, desktop computers etc., and the internet. Fieldwork was conducted from 25 May 2017 to 26 June 2017 with the results obtained reflecting a baseline measurement of people’s attitudes and behaviour.

As part of the analysis process, a classification of digital literacy levels was undertaken according to survey responses:

Digitally Disengaged: non-internet users who never perform online activities

Low: internet users who perform online activities no more than once a month

Moderate: internet users who perform online transactions less frequent than once a week

High: internet users who perform online transactions at least once a week or more often

Qualitative research was conducted as a follow-up to the quantitative component. The target for this stage were participants from the survey who were segmented into ‘digitally disengaged’ and ‘low literacy’ internet usage groups. Two face-to-face focus groups (of 6 participants) and 20 telephone in-depth interviews were conducted across these segments. These sessions were undertaken from between 9 to 29 August 2017.

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