A socialization intervention in remote health coaching for older adults in the home

Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2013:2013:7025-8. doi: 10.1109/EMBC.2013.6611175.


Previous studies have shown that social ties enhance both physical and mental health, and that social isolation has been linked to increased cognitive decline. As part of our cognitive training platform, we created a socialization intervention to address these issues. The intervention is designed to improve social contact time of older adults with remote family members and friends using a variety of technologies, including Web cameras, Skype software, email and phone. We used usability testing, surveys, interviews and system usage monitoring to develop design guidance for socialization protocols that were appropriate for older adults living independently in their homes. Our early results with this intervention show increased number of social contacts, total communication time (we measure email, phone, and Skype usage) and significant participant satisfaction with the intervention.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Health*
  • Housing*
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Male
  • Monitoring, Ambulatory
  • Socialization*
  • Software
  • Telemedicine / methods*
  • Videoconferencing