University of Nebraska Medical Center

Loneliness Routines with Alexa

Participate in a research study using assisted listening devices to combat loneliness

Why are we doing this study?

  • The reason for doing this study is to compare two routines with a smart speaker voice assistant and see if they help with pain symptoms and loneliness.

What problem is being addressed by the study?

  • Pain is a significant problem, that can lead to social isolation and loneliness especially in older adults.
  • We want to find new ways to harness existing technology to help older adults.

Who is the research lead and what is this team doing to address the problem?

  • The lead researcher, Dr. Marcia Shade and her team are going to ask you to interact with routines using voice assistant technology.

Is the methodology new or innovative?

  • The use of voice assistants is a newer approach to assist with pain and loneliness.

Why are volunteers needed for the study?

  • Volunteers are needed to interact with the routines on using the voice assistant. We will compare the two routines with a voice assistant and see if they help improve a person’s pain and feelings of loneliness.

Who may be eligible for the study?
Volunteers are eligible who:

Have had muscle and joint pain, are 60 years of age or older, live independent and alone in the Omaha area, have wireless internet access and be willing to interact with Amazon Alexa at least twice a day for 3 months.

What are the expectations of study participants?

Participants are expected to:

  • Complete questionnaires.
  • Interact with routines on smart speaker using a voice assistant for three months.
  • Individuals will be compensated for their time with a $25 Gift card for completing surveys in the beginning of the study and after the study has finished. Participants may keep the smart speaker.

How do we hope the study will, ultimately, impact patients?

  • Participants may not directly benefit from this study; however, interacting with a routine using voice assistants may be a way to help pain symptoms and loneliness.

Who to contact to qualify with phone and email or link to qualifying information?

Dr. Marcia Shade, CON-Omaha Division or Taylor Bacon, Graduate Research        Assistant, 308-627-5671

IRB#: 0177-21-EP