The effect of an intergenerational game program on the social health of older adults

Document Type : Original Article


1 Medical Surgical Nursing Department, Kashan University of Medical Sciences, Kashan, Iran

2 Trauma Nursing Research Center, Kashan University of Medical Sciences, Kashan, Iran



Background: Older adults face changing social roles and reduced social participation, which negatively affects their quality of life and social health. Despite reports of the benefits of intergenerational programs on the social health of older adults, studies are inconsistent in this regard. 
Objectives: This study aimed to examine the effect of an intergenerational program on the social health of Iranian older adults. 
Methods: A randomized controlled trial was conducted in 2019 with 40 grandparents over 60 years of age of girl students aged 8–12 years studying in a girl elementary school in Qom, Iran. Eligible subjects were conveniently enrolled and then randomly assigned to an intervention group and a control group of 20 participants each. An intergenerational game program was implemented in 6 sessions of 90 min each over 6 consecutive weeks. During the sessions, each older adult interacted and played with his/her grandchild in the form of a two-player game. The Keyes Social Health Questionnaire was used to assess the social health of older adults at baseline, at the end of the study, and 4 weeks after the end of the program. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, Chi-square test, Fisher's exact test, independent samples t-test, paired t-test, and repeated-measures analysis of variance. 
Results: The mean social health score of the intervention group was 106.05 ± 18.88 at baseline and changed to 129.5 ± 9.32 and 120.75 ± 10.61 at the end of the intervention and 4 weeks afterward, respectively. The mean social health score of the control group was 103.0 ± 10.61 at baseline and did not change significantly during the study. Repeated-measures analysis showed that over time, the intergenerational game program significantly increased the mean social health score in the intervention group (F [1.58] =17.602, P < 0.001), whereas it did not change significantly in the control group. 
Conclusions: The intergenerational game program was effective in improving the social health of older adults. Similar programs can be used to improve the social health and vitality of older adults.


Mohsen Adib-Hajbaghery [Pubmed] [Google Scholar]