This systematic review explored the effectiveness of technology-based interventions in promoting the mental health and wellbeing of people aged 65 and over. Data were collected as part of a wider review commissioned by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in England on the effectiveness of different actions to promote the mental wellbeing and independence of older people. All studies identified through this review were subject to a detailed critical appraisal of quality, looking at internal and external validity. Twenty-one papers covering evaluations of technological interventions were identified. They examined the psychosocial effects of technologies for education, exposure to, and/or training to use, computers and the internet, telephone/internet communication and computer gaming. Few studies took the form of randomized controlled trials, with little comparability in outcome measures, resulting in an inconsistent evidence base with moderate strength and quality. However, three out of six studies with high or moderate quality ratings (all focused on computer/internet training) reported statistically significant positive effects on psychosocial outcomes, including increased life satisfaction and experienced social support, as well as reduced depression levels among intervention recipients. The review results highlight the need for more methodologically rigorous studies evaluating the effects of technology-based interventions on mental wellbeing. Well-performed technology-based interventions to promote various aspects of mental wellbeing, as identified in this review, can serve as best practice examples in this emerging field.

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