Those who love nature are never alone: Designing digital nature to improve social wellbeing amongst older adults

Research output: ThesisPhD Thesis - Research UT, graduation UT

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Abstract

This dissertation testifies to the potential of using digital nature as a complimentary strategy when interactions with outdoor nature become increasingly scarce and difficult due to ageing. Results of a series of studies, including a rapid literature review, a laboratory experiment with lifelike projections, several surveys among (future) older adults, focus group and interview sessions within care centres with frail older adults, demonstrate the beneficial effects of digital nature on several social wellbeing measures. Findings of this dissertation contribute to the evidence base regarding nature interaction and its impact on social wellbeing by pinpointing design considerations for digital nature content and by indicating how preferences vary with the level of dependence and mobility restrictions. Furthermore, these findings shed light on essential nature characteristics and warrant further research and development of digital nature applications for inspiring social connectedness, reducing feelings of loneliness and enhancing overall wellbeing.

Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • University of Twente
Supervisors/Advisors
  • van Rompay, Thomas J.L., Supervisor
  • Ben Allouch, Somaya, Supervisor
Award date23 Apr 2024
Place of PublicationEnschede
Publisher
Print ISBNs978-90-365-5985-0
Electronic ISBNs978-90-365-5986-7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2024

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