Can technology impact loneliness in dementia? A scoping review on the role of assistive technologies in delivering psychosocial interventions in long-term care

K.B. Budak*, G. Atefi, V. Hoel, F.L. Uribe, F. Meiland, S. Teupen, S.A. Felding, M. Roes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Web of Science)


Purpose We aimed to identify assistive technologies that are promising for addressing loneliness in people living with dementia in long-term care. Materials and methods A scoping review was conducted. EBSCO, PubMed, Cochrane Library, and ProQuest were searched from 2000 to 2020. The included studies were selected by three independent researchers and summarised, compared, and categorized according to technology type. Publications were eligible for inclusion when they reported on psychosocial interventions aiming to reduce loneliness and/or social isolation in people with dementia in long-term care settings. Results Twenty-four papers were included (20 original research papers and four reviews). Most studies were conducted in Australia and Europe. The studies aimed to investigate two different types of assistive technology: social robots, and multimedia computer systems. Most studies focussed on behaviour, engagement, and mood as primary outcomes. Only one study directly aimed to alleviate loneliness. Conclusions Even though only one study addressed loneliness directly, it became clear that assistive technologies used to apply psychosocial interventions have the potential to impact loneliness in people with dementia in long-term care. However, it remains unclear why loneliness was not included as an outcome and how loneliness could become a key outcome in evaluating assistive technologies.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages13
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Nov 2021


  • Loneliness
  • social isolation
  • assistive technology
  • long-term care
  • dementia

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