Video calls for reducing social isolation and loneliness in older people (search done 7 April 2020)

Added June 2, 2020

Citation: Noone C, McSharry J, Smalle M, et al. Video calls for reducing social isolation and loneliness in older people: a rapid review. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2020;(5):CD013632

What is this? The response to the COVID-19 pandemic has included restrictions on some people’s movement. This isolation may have adverse effects on mental health and existing research on interventions to ease the mental health problems of isolation may provide useful information for policy makers.

In this Cochrane Rapid Review, the authors searched for randomized trials that had evaluated the effects on mental health and loneliness of video calls for people aged 65 years or living in nursing homes. They restricted their searches to articles published in English and did the search on 7 April 2020. They included 3 cluster quasi-randomized trials, all done by the same research team in nursing homes in Taiwan. None of the studies were done during the current COVID-19 pandemic.

What works: Nothing noted.

What doesn’t work: Nothing noted.

What’s uncertain: Based on the evidence available at the time of this review, the effects of video calls on the mental health or loneliness of older people are uncertain.

Podcast of review available here.


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