Technologically-enhanced psychological interventions for older adults: a scoping review

F. Vailati Riboni, B. Comazzi, K. Bercovitz, G. Castelnuovo, E. Molinari, F. Pagnini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: The world population is getting older. As life expectancy increases, traditional health care systems are facing different challenges in terms of cost reduction and high-quality service delivery capability. New ways to improve older adults' quality of life have been explored, taking advantage of new technological solutions. Our focus is on the integration of technology in clinical treatments to facilitate or deliver psychological interventions meant to improve well-being in older adults. Our aims were to describe the main technology-based interventions supporting seniors' quality of life or psychological well-being and to provide greater clarity to what is described in the current literature as their effects on seniors' cognitive and psychological outcomes and healthcare policies. METHODS: We reviewed the scientific literature looking for studies that investigated how technology can be implemented into clinical psychology treatments for older adults. Our search was conducted using the following databases: PubMed, PsycINFO, Scopus, ISI Web of Science, and CINAHL. The search provided 350 articles, mostly (≈90%) dated after 2002. Abstract analysis narrowed the selection to 150 papers, according to their relevance and actuality as judged by a restricted group of independent researchers. RESULTS: Through a thematic analysis, we found that virtual reality (VR), robots, telemedicine, software, video games, and smartphone applications could potentially support older adults' psychological treatment with a positive impact on healthcare systems. CONCLUSION: Findings from the literature are encouraging, although most of these results are only preliminary.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
JournalBMC Geriatrics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jun 4 2020


  • Aging
  • Clinical psychology
  • Healthcare
  • Older adults
  • Psychological interventions
  • Technology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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