Social networking sites and older users - a systematic review

Nef, Tobias; Ganea, Raluca L.; Müri, René M.; Mosimann, Urs P. (2013). Social networking sites and older users - a systematic review. International psychogeriatrics, 25(7), pp. 1041-1053. Cambridge University Press 10.1017/S1041610213000355

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BACKGROUND Social networking sites can be beneficial for senior citizens to promote social participation and to enhance intergenerational communication. Particularly for older adults with impaired mobility, social networking sites can help them to connect with family members and other active social networking users. The aim of this systematic review is to give an overview of existing scientific literature on social networking in older users. METHODS Computerized databases were searched and 105 articles were identified and screened using exclusion criteria. After exclusion of 87 articles, 18 articles were included, reviewed, classified, and the key findings were extracted. Common findings are identified and critically discussed and possible future research directions are outlined. RESULTS The main benefit of using social networking sites for older adults is to enter in an intergenerational communication with younger family members (children and grandchildren) that is appreciated by both sides. Identified barriers are privacy concerns, technical difficulties and the fact that current Web design does not take the needs of older users into account. CONCLUSIONS Under the conditions that these problems are carefully addressed, social networking sites have the potential to support today's and tomorrow's communication between older and younger family members.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Review Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Head Organs and Neurology (DKNS) > Clinic of Neurology
04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > BioMedical Research (DBMR) > Forschungsbereich Pavillon 52 > Forschungsgruppe Perzeption und Okulomotorik
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Psychiatric Services > University Hospital of Geriatric Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
10 Strategic Research Centers > ARTORG Center for Biomedical Engineering Research > ARTORG Center - Gerontechnology and Rehabilitation
10 Strategic Research Centers > Center for Cognition, Learning and Memory (CCLM)

UniBE Contributor:

Nef, Tobias; Ganea, Raluca Lidia; Müri, René Martin and Mosimann, Urs Peter


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




Cambridge University Press




Pascal Wurtz

Date Deposited:

01 Apr 2014 11:41

Last Modified:

25 Oct 2019 01:40

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:





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