The Effect of Social Robots on Depression and Loneliness for Older Residents in Long-Term Care Facilities: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

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Abstract

OBJECTIVES: Depression and loneliness are challenges facing older residents living in long-term care facilities. Social robots might be a solution as nonpharmacologic interventions. The purpose of this study was to explore the effects of concrete forms of social robots on depression and loneliness in older residents in long-term care facilities by a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.

DESIGN: This is a systematic review and meta-analysis.

SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: Older residents in long-term care facilities.

METHODS: Six electronic databases of PubMed, Embase, Scopus, Web of Science, MEDLINE, and CINAHL plus were searched in August 2023. Random effect models of meta-analyses, subgroup analyses, and meta-regressions were performed for statistical analyses.

RESULTS: After evaluation, 8 studies were selected for both qualitative and quantitative synthesis. Social robot interventions had significant positive effects on decreasing depression and loneliness with large effect sizes. Group-based robot activities had a better effect on improving depression than individual-based robot activities. Longer durations of interventions produced significantly more improvement in depression.

CONCLUSION AND IMPLICATION: Social robots with physical manifestation provide the opportunity for older adults' social engagement and interactions with robots and others. Social robot interventions are recommended for older residents in long-term care facilities to promote psychosocial well-being in daily care routines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)104979
JournalJournal of the American Medical Directors Association
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Apr 10 2024

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