Remote Communication and Loneliness During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Cross-Sectional Study.

Publication date: Jul 11, 2023

Although remote communication technologies have been widely used to maintain connections with others against interpersonal contact restrictions and exacerbated loneliness during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is unclear whether and what types of remote communication technologies are effective in mitigating loneliness. This study aimed to investigate the association between remote communication and loneliness when face-to-face meetings with others were strongly prohibited and whether this association varied across types of communication tools, age, and gender. We used cross-sectional data from the Japan COVID-19 and Society Internet Survey conducted from August to September 2020. From registered panelists of the research agency, 28,000 randomly sampled participants completed the survey on the website. We created 2 study cohorts who stopped meeting with family members living apart and friends during the pandemic. We categorized whether participants had technology-based remote communication (voice calling, text messaging, and video calling) with family and friends. Loneliness was assessed using the 3-item University of California, Los Angeles Loneliness Scale. We used a modified Poisson regression model to investigate the association between loneliness and remote communication with family members living apart or friends. We also conducted subgroup analyses based on age and gender. A total of 4483 participants stopped meeting with family members living apart, and 6783 participants stopped meeting with friends during the COVID-19 pandemic. Remote communication with family members living apart did not show an association with loneliness, whereas remote communication with friends was associated with a low prevalence of loneliness (family: adjusted prevalence ratio [aPR]=0. 89, 95% CI 0. 74-1. 08; P=. 24 and friends: aPR=0. 82, 95% CI 0. 73-0. 91; P

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Concepts Keywords
California age
Loneliness communication tool
Therapy COVID-19
Website gender
remote communication
social isolation
text message


Type Source Name
disease MESH Loneliness
disease MESH COVID-19 Pandemic
disease VO effective
drug DRUGBANK Methylphenidate
drug DRUGBANK (S)-Des-Me-Ampa
disease IDO history
disease VO frequency
disease MESH education level
disease MESH marital status
disease MESH chronic disease

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