People with intellectual disabilities living in care facilities engaging in virtual social contact: A systematic review of the feasibility and effects on well-being

L. Bakkum*, C. Schuengel, P. S. Sterkenburg, N. Frielink, P. J. C. M. Embregts, J. C. de Schipper, A. ten Brug, A. Tharner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

Background
During the initial phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people with disabilities living in care facilities could not receive visitors. The use of virtual social contact has been recommended by health authorities. This systematic review examined the scientific evidence of the use and feasibility of information and communication technology (ICT) for social contact by people with intellectual disabilities living in care facilities, and potential effects on well-being.

Methods
Five databases were searched using traditional systematic screening and machine-learning supported screening. Findings are presented in a narrative synthesis using thematic analysis.

Results
Nine studies were included. We described three themes: means of ICT used for social contact; effects on well-being; and benefits, barriers, and preconditions.

Conclusions
Engaging in virtual social contact may be feasible for people with severe to mild intellectual disabilities, but there is little concrete evidence that this can be used as an alternative for in-person contact.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60-74
JournalJournal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities
Volume35
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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