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Hazards in the home: using older adults' perceptions to inform warning design

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Older adults' perceptions of hazards associated with home product usage and beliefs about product warnings were assessed. Focus group interview data were coded along the dimensions of (a) product type; (b) hazard type; (c) hazard knowledge; (d) hazard avoidance; (e) product warning presence; and (f) product warning necessity. A survey supplemented the focus group results by gathering measures of usage patterns and usability difficulties associated with various types of household products. Older adults reported routine use of products they considered to be hazardous and identified an array of home safety concerns. Furthermore, personal experience was an important source of older adults' hazard knowledge and they described a number of hazard avoidance strategies. These data provide insight into older adults' home safety behaviour and suggest a number of approaches to improving hazard communication and warning design.

Keywords: Aging; Products; Safety; Warnings

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: North Carolina State University NC USA 2: Georgia Institute of Technology GA USA

Publication date: December 1, 2004


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