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Technology as a means of reducing loneliness in the elderly

, Walden University, United States

Walden University . Awarded


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of bringing an e-pal program to a group of elderly citizens who had minimal contact with friends or relatives. Since loneliness has been determined to have adverse effective on health, the researcher sought to determine if using technology in the form of an email system to communicate with loved ones, or kind strangers, could eliminate loneliness and improve the health of the subjects. Participants lived in a nursing home or independent living facility. For those without close friends or relatives, an e-pal (email pen pal) was assigned. Data were gathered through case study assessment of 3 males and 6 females in a nursing home or independent living environment who had been identified as suffering from depression and or loneliness. The participants were paired with family members who were willing to participate in the study or other caring individuals who had empathy for elderly people who lack involvement with family members or relatives. The study found that seniors' loneliness scores decreased when they had continuous communication with family and friends. There appeared to be direct correlations between the amount of perceived access seniors have to others and the reduction in loneliness. The study results indicate that seniors can benefit from such a program as e-pal regardless of being paired with a friend, relative, or caring stranger.


Moses, B.J. Technology as a means of reducing loneliness in the elderly. Ph.D. thesis, Walden University. Retrieved February 19, 2019 from .

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