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Interventions against social isolation of older adults: a systematic review of existing literature and interventions




Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute

Social isolation is widespread among older adults, especially those confined to living in nursing homes and long-term care facilities. This study completed a systematic review evaluating the effectiveness of 20 interventions used to combat social isolation in older adults. A scoring mechanism based on the Joanna Briggs Appraisal Checklist was utilized to determine the quality of the studies. Searches were conducted in “MedLine”, “PubMed”, “PsycINFO” and “Aging and Mental Health”. Studies completed on group and person-centered interventions against social isolation were the highest quality as the social isolation experienced by older adults decreased after the intervention, and this effect continued in follow-up studies. Other interventions such as volunteering-based interventions also alleviated isolation; however, follow-up studies were not completed to determine long-term efficacy. Given the increase in social isolation faced by older persons during the pandemic, our review can be utilized to create effective interventions to reduce social isolation. (Edited publisher abstract)

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