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Can a short internet training program improve social isolation and self-esteem in older adults with psychiatric conditions?

  • Samantha M. Loi (a1) (a2), Samuel Hodson (a2), David Huppert (a2), Jodie Swan (a2), Angela Mazur (a2) and Nicola T. Lautenschlager (a1) (a2) (a3)...


The purpose of this study was to investigate whether an educational training course on using the internet and touchscreen technology (TT) would decrease social isolation and improve self-esteem in residents living in a low-level residential facility. Twelve sessions over six weeks with two facilitators were provided to five participants with a variety of psychiatric disorders. Measures were completed before and after the 12 sessions. There were no statistically significant improvements or worsening in social isolation (mean score 6.2, SD 3.35) or self-esteem (mean score 18.2, SD 3.56) post the training sessions for the residents. Qualitative feedback suggested that the residents enjoyed this experience and learnt new skills. Further study is recommended using larger samples and alternative outcomes measures.


Corresponding author

Correspondence should be addressed to: Dr Samantha M Loi, Academic Unit for Psychiatry of Old Age, Department of Psychiatry, University of Melbourne, 34–54 Poplar Road, Parkville, Victoria, 3052, Australia. Phone: +61 3 8387 2767. Email:


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