Educational content on VJDementia is intended for healthcare professionals only. By visiting this website and accessing this information you confirm that you are a healthcare professional.

Share this video  

AAIC 2022 | I-CONECT: effect of online conversations on psychosocial wellbeing in older adults

Kexin Yu, PhD Candidate, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, gives insights on the effects of isolation and loneliness on cognitive function in older adults. The I-CONECT project (Internet-based Conversational Engagement Clinical Trial; NCT02871921) is a randomized, controlled trial assessing the value of online conversation in improving cognitive function in socially isolated older adults. Online interventions lasted 6-12 months, providing video chats four times per week, with sessions lasting 30 minutes. The control group only received a 10-minute check in once a week. The findings show improvements in the global cognitive function in the intervention arm, as measured by the Montreal Cognitive Assessment test. In this analysis, the team wanted to assess the impact of the intervention on psychological wellbeing outcomes. The outcomes after 12 months looked at three aspects of emotional response: social satisfaction, psychological wellbeing, and negative affect. No significant difference was found between the intervention and control group in terms of psychological wellbeing and negative affect, however, both groups saw an improvement in their social satisfaction. Therefore, these results show that 10-minute check ins once per week could be satisfactory in improving social satisfaction for isolated older adults. However, interactions four times per week might be necessary for improving cognitive function. The future direction for the I-CONECT project is to further investigate the effects of social interaction on other modalities and to recruit individuals from under-represented populations. This interview took place at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) 2022 in San Diego, CA.