Fighting social isolation in times of pandemic COVID-19: the role of video calls for older hospitalized patients.

Dürst AV, Graf CE, Ruggiero C, Zekry D, Boccardi V, Monney L, Joss I, Vuilloud K, Vespignani G, Bosshard W, Mecocci P, Bula CJ, D'Amelio P

Aging Clin Exp Res - (-) - [2022-07-06; online 2022-07-06]

Loneliness and social isolation are associated with anxiety and psychological discomfort, especially amongst the oldest and fragile persons. SILVER evaluates the acceptance of video calls by old hospitalized patients and their relatives during the ban on visits due to the COVID-19. Moreover, SILVER evaluates if the use of different communication technology is associated with different outcomes in terms of anxiety, fear of self and of others' death and mood. SILVER is an observational multicentre study. Patients hospitalized in two geriatric units in Switzerland and in one orthogeriatric unit in Italy and their relatives were enrolled. Participants can freely choose to use phone or video calls and were evaluated over a week. We measured anxiety, fear of death and mood at baseline and at the end of the study with standard scales. The use of video or phone calls was associated to a change in these parameters by two-way ANOVA for repeated measures. Sixty-four patients and relatives were enrolled, 26.5% used phone calls and 73.5% video calls. The use of video calls was associated with a reduction in anxiety and fear of death in patients and relatives as compared to participants using phone calls. Old patients and their relatives accepted and appreciated the use of video calls during hospitalization; moreover, participant using video calls appears to be less anxious and less afraid of death. Video calls may be a useful communication tool for hospitalized older patients to keep social relationships with relatives and reduce their anxiety and fear of death. Retrospectively registered on 1st September 2021 in (NCT05000099).

Category: Public Health

Type: Journal article

PubMed 35794314

DOI 10.1007/s40520-022-02188-8

Crossref 10.1007/s40520-022-02188-8

pii: 10.1007/s40520-022-02188-8
pmc: PMC9261146 NCT05000099

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