Researchers at the NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) have produced a protocol to carry out a review and meta-analysis of the various digital technology interventions to address the growing problem of loneliness.
“Loneliness is an emerging public health problem, associated with social, emotional, mental and physical health issues,” said the study’s lead author, Dr Sarwar Shah. “Digital technology is increasingly being used to reduce loneliness, but we feel that the effectiveness of such interventions needs to be assessed systematically.”
This open-access paper was published on the BMJ Open website.
“We believe that appraising the latest empirical research on digital interventions used to reduce loneliness in adults could contribute to informing health and care and public health policy, as well as potentially other stakeholders, including private entities such as health insurers, who are seeking to tackle loneliness in the adult population,” Dr Shah said.
The results of this systematic review are expected to be available in the next few months.