A Systematic Review on Technology-Supported Interventions to Improve Old-Age Social Wellbeing: Loneliness, Social Isolation, and Connectedness

Francisco Ibarra, Marcos Baez, Luca Cernuzzi, Fabio Casati

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Background. This review studies technology-supported interventions to help older adults, living in situations of reduced mobility, overcome loneliness, and social isolation. The focus is on long-distance interactions, investigating the (i) challenges addressed and strategies applied; (ii) technology used in interventions; and (iii) social interactions enabled. Methods. We conducted a search on Elsevier's Scopus database for related work published until January 2020, focusing on (i) intervention studies supported mainly by technology-mediated communication, (ii) aiming at supported virtual social interactions between people, and (iii) evaluating the impact of loneliness or social isolation. Results. Of the 1178 papers screened, 25 met the inclusion criteria. Computer and Internet training was the dominant strategy, allowing access to communication technologies, while in recent years, we see more studies aiming to provide simple, easy-to-use technology. The technology used was mostly off-the-shelf, with fewer solutions tailored to older adults. Social interactions targeted mainly friends and family, and most interventions focused on more than one group of people. Discussion. All interventions reported positive results, suggesting feasibility. However, more research is needed on the topic (especially randomized controlled trials), as evidenced by the low number of interventions found. We recommend more rigorous methods, addressing human factors and reporting technology usage in future research.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2036842
JournalJournal of Healthcare Engineering
Volume2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Surgery
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Health Informatics

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'A Systematic Review on Technology-Supported Interventions to Improve Old-Age Social Wellbeing: Loneliness, Social Isolation, and Connectedness'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this