The Effects of Technological Interventions on Social Participation of Community-Dwelling Older Adults with and without Dementia: A Systematic Review

P. Heins, L.M.M. Boots, W.Q. Koh, A. Neven, F.R.J. Verhey, M.E. de Vugt*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal(Systematic) Review article peer-review

6 Citations (Web of Science)


Social isolation in community-dwelling older adults with dementia is a growing health issue that can negatively affect health and well-being. To date, little attention has been paid to the role of technology in improving their social participation. This systematic review aims to provide a systematic overview of the effects of technological interventions that target social participation in community-dwelling older adults with and without dementia. The scientific databases Medline (PubMed), PsycINFO, CINAHL, Web of Science, and the Cochrane Library were systematically searched and independently screened by two reviewers. Results were synthesized narratively. The methodological quality of included studies was independently assessed by two reviewers. In total, 36 studies of varying methodological quality were identified. Most studies evaluated social networking technology and ICT training programs. Three studies focused on people with dementia. Quantitative findings showed limited effects on loneliness, social isolation, and social support. Nevertheless, several benefits related to social participation were reported qualitatively. Social interaction, face-to-face contact, and intergenerational engagement were suggested to be successful elements of technological interventions in improving the social participation of community-dwelling older adults. Rigorous studies with larger sample sizes are highly needed to evaluate the long-term effects of technology on the multidimensional concept of social participation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2308
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2021


  • social participation
  • technology
  • dementia
  • older adults
  • community
  • RISK

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