Combatting social isolation and increasing social participation of older adults through the use of technology: A systematic review of existing evidence

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Baker, Steven
Warburton, Jeni
Waycott, Jenny
Batchelor, Frances
Hoang, Thuong
Dow, Briony
Ozanne, Elizabeth
Vetere, Frank
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2018
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Abstract

Objectives There are growing concerns that social isolation presents risks to older people's health and well‐being. Thus, the objective of the review was to explore how technology is currently being utilised to combat social isolation and increase social participation, hence improving social outcomes for older people.

Methods A systematic review of the literature was conducted across the social science and human‐computer interaction databases.

Results A total of 36 papers met the inclusion criteria and were analysed using a four‐step process. Findings were threefold, suggesting that: (i) technologies principally utilised social network services and touch‐screen technologies; (ii) social outcomes are often ill‐defined or not defined at all; and (iii) methodologies used to evaluate interventions were often limited and small‐scale.

Conclusion Results suggest a need for studies that examine new and innovative forms of technology, evaluated with rigorous methodologies, and drawing on clear definitions about how these technologies address social isolation/participation.

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Australasian Journal on Ageing

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37

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3

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Biomedical and clinical sciences

Human society

Psychology

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Baker, S; Warburton, J; Waycott, J; Batchelor, F; Hoang, T; Dow, B; Ozanne, E; Vetere, F, Combatting social isolation and increasing social participation of older adults through the use of technology: A systematic review of existing evidence, Australasian Journal on Ageing, 2018, 37 (3), pp. 184-193

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