Utilizing ICT to prevent loneliness and social isolation of the elderly : A literature review
Fan, Q. (2016). Utilizing ICT to prevent loneliness and social isolation of the elderly : A literature review. Cuadernos de Trabajo Social, 29(2), 185-200. https://doi.org/10.5209/CUTS.51771
Published inCuadernos de Trabajo Social
© Author, 2016
Ageing of the population is a worldwide phenomenon. Numerous ICT-based solutions have been developed for elderly carebut mainly connected to the physiological and nursing aspects in services for the elderly. Social work is a profession thatshould pay attention to the comprehensive wellbeing and social needs of the elderly. Many people experience loneliness anddepression in their old age, either as a result of living alone or due to a lack of close family ties and reduced connectionswith their culture of origin, which results in an inability to participate actively in community activities (Singh & Misra,2009). Participation in society would enhance the quality of life. With the development of information technology, the useof technology in social work practice has risen dramatically.The aim of this literature review is to map out the state of the art of knowledge about the usage of ICT in elderly care andto figure out research-based knowledge about the usability of ICT for the prevention of loneliness and social isolation ofelderly people.The data for the current research comes from the core collection of the Web of Science and the data searching was performedusing Boolean? The searching resulted in 216 published English articles. After going through the topics and abstracts, 34articles were selected for the data analysis that is based on a multi approach framework. The analysis of the researchapproach is categorized according to some aspects of using ICT by older adults from the adoption of ICT to the impact ofusage, and the social services for them. This literature review focused on the function of communication by excluding theapplications that mainly relate to physical nursing. The results show that the so-called ‘digital divide’ still exists, but the olderadults have the willingness to learn and utilise ICT in daily life, especially for communication. The data shows that the usageof ICT can prevent the loneliness and social isolation of older adults, and they are eager for technical support in using ICT.The results of data analysis on theoretical frames and concepts show that this research field applies different theoreticalframes from various scientific fields, while a social work approach is lacking. However, a synergic frame of applied theorieswill be suggested from the perspective of social work. ...
PublisherUniversidad Complutense de Madrid
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