Videoconference program enhances social support, loneliness, and depressive status of elderly nursing home residents.

School of Nursing, Chang Gung University, 259, Wen-Hwa 1st Road, Kwei-Shan, Tao-Yuan, Taiwan, ROC.
Aging and Mental Health (Impact Factor: 1.78). 11/2010; 14(8):947-54. DOI: 10.1080/13607863.2010.501057
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The purpose of this quasi-experimental study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a videoconference intervention program in improving nursing home residents' social support, loneliness, and depressive status.
Fourteen nursing homes were selected from various areas of Taiwan by purposive sampling. Elderly residents (N = 57) of these nursing homes, who met our inclusion criteria were divided into experimental (n = 24) and control (n = 33) groups. The experimental group received five min/week of videoconference interaction with their family members for three months, and the control group received regular care only. Data were collected through face-to face interviews on social support, loneliness, and depressive status using the Social Supportive Behavior Scale, University of California Los Angeles Loneliness Scale, and Geriatric Depression Scale, respectively, at three points (baseline, one week, and three months after baseline). Data were analyzed using the generalized estimating equation approach.
Subjects in the experimental group had significantly higher mean emotional and appraisal social support scores at one week and three months after baseline than those in the control group. Subjects in the experimental group also had lower mean loneliness scores at one week and three months after baseline than those in the control group, and lower mean depressive status scores at three months after baseline.
Our videoconference program alleviated depressive symptoms and loneliness in elderly residents in nursing homes. Our findings suggest that this program could be used for residents of long-term care institutions, particularly those with better ability to perform activities of daily living.

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