Phase 2 focuses on the core activity of the project— delivery of our social experimentation. The project recruits 120 elderly people in each country, half of whom are trained and supported in using a specialized social media package – Easy PC – for a period of four months. This intervention group is evenly divided between those who are receiving care in domiciliary settings (i.e. in their own homes) and those who are living in residential care homes. A similarly constructed control group, of 120 people, also participates, but receives only care-as-usual.
Three main activities are carried out in this phase
baseline assessments by research staff (conducted with all participants), involving collection of demographic information and data against which to assess participants’ capacity and progress relating to our primary outcomes (mental health, cognitive ability, general health, well being) and secondary outcomes (social participation and personal identity strengths and attitudes to computer technology);
training carried out by professional carers in both countries. provided to each Easy PC participant for 12 weeks, and including multiple face-to-face sessions, telephone and e-mail support;
4-month follow-up assessment is conducted for all participants, involving administration of all primary and secondary outcome measures by research staff.
Duration: months 5-20