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An ICT-mediated social network in support of successful ageing
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2014 (English)In: Gerontechnology, ISSN 1569-1101, E-ISSN 1569-111X, Vol. 13, no 1, 37-46 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background The idea is that an active lifestyle rich in social interactions and active engagement may mitigate age-related decline and reduce healthcare costs. The main aim of the AGNES project was to investigate the potential of new Information and Communication Technology (ICT) environments to help maintain the independence and wellbeing of elders. The innovative applications developed in this research project could have wide application for a large number of older adults living alone.  Method We used a web-based social network platform, enhanced with devices to detect users´ states and collect activity data. The effectiveness of the ICT-based solution was assessed throughout the project with user and control groups in Spain, Sweden and Greece. User interviews and psychological testing were conducted at the beginning of the project and after a year of deployment of the equipment. Both groups completed the same assessment protocol. Results & discussion We found that only the user group showed an improvement from pretest to posttest in the affective dimension of the wellbeing SPF-IL scale. This dimension relates to the degree of confidence, social acceptance, and level of satisfaction with the people around them. Exploring new ways to maintain the cognitive and functional state of older users is today a critical issue, for individuals, their families, and for whole societies. The study suggests the potential of AGNES to improve older adults’ perceived wellbeing. However, more research may be needed to determine if AGNES is a tool to maintain mental health and independent living in older adults, especially those with MCI.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 13, no 1, 37-46 p.
Keyword [en]
ageing, cognitive training, ICT, social networking, wellbeing
National Category
Information Systems, Social aspects
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-90905DOI: 10.4017/gt.2014. diva2:731820
Available from: 2014-07-02 Created: 2014-07-02 Last updated: 2015-05-08Bibliographically approved

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Waterworth, John
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Department of Informatics
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