Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://doi.org/10.21256/zhaw-25353
Publication type: Article in scientific journal
Type of review: Peer review (publication)
Title: Use of digital technologies to combat loneliness and social isolation : a cross-sectional study in Swiss outpatient care during COVID-19 pandemic
Authors: Stängle, Sabrina
Domeisen Benedetti, Franzisca
Hediger, Hannele
Bonmarin, Mathias
Loeser, Martin
Fringer, André
et. al: No
DOI: 10.1186/s12912-022-00946-7
10.21256/zhaw-25353
Published in: BMC Nursing
Volume(Issue): 2022
Issue: 21
Page(s): 181
Issue Date: 8-Jul-2022
Publisher / Ed. Institution: BioMed Central
ISSN: 1472-6955
Language: English
Subjects: Ambulatory care; COVID-19 pandemic; Digital technology; Survey; Switzerland
Subject (DDC): 004: Computer science
150: Psychology
Abstract: Background: There is limited data on the use of digital technologies in outpatient care in Switzerland. Our objectives were therefore to determine which digital technologies are used and whether they had an impact on loneliness and social isolation in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: A cross-sectional survey design was used with a convenience sample of 1272 outpatient care providers in Switzerland. The questionnaire used is based on an unsystematic literature review and a previous qualitative study with six outpatient caregivers and two caring relatives, based on which the 30 items for this questionnaire were developed. Data were analyzed descriptively, and group comparisons were made using the Kruskal Wallis test. Changes over time were measured using Friedman test with Bonferroni post hoc tests and Wilcoxon test for paired samples. Results: The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic was evident both on the part of the health care system, e.g., inadequate protective equipment; on the part of health care providers, e.g., increasing fatigue in keeping abreast of the virus as the pandemic progressed; and on the part of clients, who reduced services of care, e.g., out of fear of infection. According to the assessment of the outpatient caregivers, loneliness and social isolation of the clients was high in spring 2020 and increased strongly in the following winter. Alternative solutions, such as digital technologies, were hardly used or not used at all by the clients. Conclusions: The results suggest that the pandemic is dramatically impacting clients. This highlights the urgent need to invest in the development of appropriate digital technologies reducing the impact of social isolation and loneliness and the associated long-term costs to the healthcare system.
URI: https://digitalcollection.zhaw.ch/handle/11475/25353
Fulltext version: Published version
License (according to publishing contract): CC BY 4.0: Attribution 4.0 International
Departement: School of Health Sciences
Organisational Unit: Institute of Nursing (IPF)
Published as part of the ZHAW project: Use of digital tools for socially isolated people in home care and their relatives during social distancing – digital support against social isolation (DASI)
Appears in collections:Publikationen Gesundheit

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