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


  • 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.


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

publication date

  • 2018