The Economic Consequences of Loneliness Among the Elderly

Last registered on April 21, 2021

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
The Economic Consequences of Loneliness Among the Elderly
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0007582
Initial registration date
April 20, 2021

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
April 21, 2021, 10:42 AM EDT

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.

Locations

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Primary Investigator

Affiliation
MIT

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
PI Affiliation
Stanford University
PI Affiliation
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
PI Affiliation
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
PI Affiliation
Government of Tamil Nadu

Additional Trial Information

Status
On going
Start date
2020-11-01
End date
2023-11-01
Secondary IDs
Unique Protocol ID, ClinicalTrials.gov: 172020
Abstract
Elderly individuals across the world are increasingly living alone. However, little is known about the effects of loneliness on economic and health outcomes. The elderly living alone (i.e., in a household of size 1) will be randomized into one of two cross-randomized intervention arms or a control condition to improve older individuals' mental wellbeing as well as ability to cover basic needs, particularly in times of COVID (including health). The first intervention will focus on improving the elderly's outlook on life and relationships through problem-solving therapy (PST) delivered over the phone. The second will deliver to them a one-time cash transfer of Rs.1000, equivalent to the emergency help amount distributed to ration card holder by the government of Tamil Nadu. Each intervention will be offered on its own in each of two treatment arms, and in combination in a third. A control group will receive no intervention. Investigators will track outcomes of the elderly at 1 month, 3 months, and 1 year after the intervention.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Duflo, Esther et al. 2021. "The Economic Consequences of Loneliness Among the Elderly ." AEA RCT Registry. April 21. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.7582
Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
The intervention will deliver phone therapy and cash to elders living alone in two cross-randomized arms.
Intervention Start Date
2021-01-01
Intervention End Date
2021-11-01

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Mental health, mobility, vaccination against COVID-19
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Survival, health status
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
The experiment will be conducted in a subsample of 5,000 households identified for a panel survey on the status of the elderly in Tamil Nadu, India. This sample will be surveyed every two years for eight years. The phone therapy and cash interventions will be delivered between the first and second waves of the panel.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization will be done in Stata.
Randomization Unit
Individual
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
1176 individuals
Sample size: planned number of observations
1176 individuals
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
25% of the sample each is assigned to the phone therapy arm, cash arm, phone therapy plus cash, and control group.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Institutional Review Board
IRB Approval Date
2019-06-20
IRB Approval Number
Approval # 1905836705