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Sociodemographic and Health-Related Risks for Loneliness and Outcome Differences by Loneliness Status in a Sample of U.S. Older Adults

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Abstract

This study assesses sociodemographic and health-related factors associated with loneliness and outcome differences between loneliness groups using a sample of 13,812 older adults from the U.S Health and Retirement Study. Descriptive and bivariate analyses were followed by logistic regression to evaluate risks and analysis of covariance testing to determine outcome differences. Overall, prevalence of loneliness was 16.9%. Nonmarried status, poorer self-report of health, lower educational level, functional impairment, increasing number of chronic illnesses, younger age, lower income, and less people living in the household were all associated with loneliness. The chronically lonely group reported less exercise, more tobacco use, less alcohol use, a greater number of chronic illnesses, higher depression scores, and greater average number of nursing home stays. Future research evaluating the effectiveness of both prevention and treatment interventions for loneliness in older adults would provide empirical data to further guide gerontological nursing practice.

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... Older adults being at an increased risk of loneliness is partly attributable to deteriorating health and reduced social contacts, particularly after retirement (Cacioppo & Cacioppo, 2018;De Jong Gierveld & Van Tilburg, 2010). Individuals with low levels of education are more susceptible to loneliness relative to people with higher educational attainment (Theeke, 2010). Loneliness is more prevalent among individuals with a migration background relative to natives, explained by lower satisfaction with social relationships and lower participation in social activities among migrants (Ten Kate et al., 2020). ...
... We used four dimensions of social identity to construct the intersectional strata in this study: gender, age, education, and nationality. Considering data availability, we used these dimensions given their meaningful associations with loneliness shown in prior research (Barretto et al., 2021;Cacioppo & Cacioppo, 2018;De Jong Gierveld & Van Tilburg, 2010;Lasgaard et al., 2016;Luhmann & Hawkley, 2016;Ten Kate et al., 2020;Theeke, 2010). Gender was coded binary (0 = male, 1 = female). ...
... Nonetheless, the findings from this paper broadly concur with the social patterning of loneliness shown in prior research. The finding that nationality and education had particularly strong predictive power concurs with research showing that being native to a country and having higher educational attainment confer privilege that may protect against loneliness (Ten Kate et al., 2020;Theeke, 2010). The finding that older men, in particular, are most at risk of loneliness is consistent with prior research showing that loneliness is more prevalent among men than among women and that older adults have an increased risk of loneliness (Barretto et al., 2021;Cacioppo & Cacioppo, 2018;De Jong Gierveld & Van Tilburg, 2010). ...
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We examined the extent to which intersectional social identities combine to shape risks of loneliness and identified the specific social clusters that are most at risk of loneliness for more precise and targeted interventions to reduce loneliness in a Swiss municipality. Based on data collected using participatory action research, we used the novel multilevel analysis of individual heterogeneity and discriminatory accuracy (MAIHDA) to estimate the predictive power of intersectional social attributes on risk of loneliness. We found that 56% of the between‐strata variance was captured by intersectional interaction but was not explained by the additive effect of social identities. We also found that nationality and education had the strongest predictive power for loneliness. Interventions to reduce loneliness may benefit from understanding the resident population's intersectional identities given that individuals with the same combinations of social identities face a common set of social exposures relating to loneliness.
... Many detrimental physical and psychological effects for older adults are linked to loneliness. For example, individuals who are lonely have an increased risk for mortality (Cacioppo & Cacioppo, 2018;Valtorta & Hanratty, 2012), have greater numbers of chronic illnesses and medical conditions (Theeke, 2010;Thurston & Kubzansky, 2009;Wilson & Moulton, 2010;), and have reduced ratings of subjective health (Cornwell & Waite, 2009;Theeke, 2010). A meta-analysis including 70 independent studies with over 3.4 million individuals reported social isolation, loneliness, and living alone have a significant and equivalent effect on risk for morality (Holt-Lunstad, Smith, Baker, Harris, & Stephenson, 2015). ...
... Many detrimental physical and psychological effects for older adults are linked to loneliness. For example, individuals who are lonely have an increased risk for mortality (Cacioppo & Cacioppo, 2018;Valtorta & Hanratty, 2012), have greater numbers of chronic illnesses and medical conditions (Theeke, 2010;Thurston & Kubzansky, 2009;Wilson & Moulton, 2010;), and have reduced ratings of subjective health (Cornwell & Waite, 2009;Theeke, 2010). A meta-analysis including 70 independent studies with over 3.4 million individuals reported social isolation, loneliness, and living alone have a significant and equivalent effect on risk for morality (Holt-Lunstad, Smith, Baker, Harris, & Stephenson, 2015). ...
... A meta-analysis including 70 independent studies with over 3.4 million individuals reported social isolation, loneliness, and living alone have a significant and equivalent effect on risk for morality (Holt-Lunstad, Smith, Baker, Harris, & Stephenson, 2015). Loneliness has been found to impair activities of daily living, which in turn influences the individual's functional status (Shanker, McMunn, Demakakos, Hamer, & Steptoe, 2017) and can lead to functional disability (Theeke, 2010). Additionally, loneliness has been linked to mental health in that it is associated with depression and lower levels of well-being (Golden et al., 2009;Routasalo, Savikko, Tilvis, Strandberg, & Pitkala, 2006;Tiikkainen & Heikkinen, 2005) and a predictor of suicide among older adults aged 65 and older (Waern, Rubenowitz, & Wilhelmson, 2003). ...
Article
Loneliness has a significant impact on the health and well-being of older people, including an increased risk of mortality. This cross-sectional study explored possible risk and protective factors that can help explain loneliness and emotional and social loneliness in a sample of community-dwelling older adults (N = 477). The survey incorporated a standardized scale of loneliness and items to assess type and quality of contact with others, community support, social isolation, physical health, cognitive health, and functional ability. Bivariate and multivariate analyses explored the factors that contributed to loneliness, emotional loneliness, and social loneliness. Results indicated overall quality of contact with others, use of phone contact, and social isolation was significant in all three regressions; other significant variables were different for each analysis. The findings support social work and public health recommendations for addressing loneliness, particularly within the current climate of “social distancing” under the COVID-19 pandemic.
... 7 Many studies have examined the relationship between loneliness and depression in older adults, but these studies have had limitations. 8,9 There have been several cross-sectional studies, [10][11][12][13][14][15][16] but it is impossible to rule out reverse causation in studies with a cross-sectional design. Longitudinal studies are essential to establishing whether loneliness precedes depressive symptoms, which is a necessary condition for identifying loneliness as a potentially causal, and hence targetable, risk factor for depression. ...
... We found the same pattern of association between loneliness and depression when using a binary depression variable (appendix p 10). The PAF for depression associated with loneliness was estimated to be 18% (95% CI 12-24) at the first follow-up (wave three) and 11% (3)(4)(5)(6)(7)(8)(9)(10)(11)(12)(13)(14)(15)(16)(17)(18)(19) at the final follow-up (wave eight). ...
... were similar, though the association was stronger and there was no evidence that it reduced with time (appendix p 15). Primary and secondary outcomes remained similar when including the CES-D loneliness item (appendix pp [16][17][18][19]. 95% CIs overlapped with those in the primary analysis but PAFs were slightly higher when including the CES-D loneliness item (23% [95% CI 17-28] at the first follow-up and 16% [8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20][21][22] at the final follow-up). ...
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Background Loneliness is experienced by a third of older adults in the UK and is a modifiable potential risk factor for depressive symptoms. It is unclear how the association between loneliness and depressive symptoms persists over time, and whether it is independent of related social constructs and genetic confounders. We aimed to investigate the association between loneliness and depressive symptoms, assessed on multiple occasions during 12 years of follow-up, in a large, nationally representative cohort of adults aged 50 years and older in England. Methods We did a longitudinal study using seven waves of data that were collected once every 2 years between 2004 and 2017, from adults aged 50 years and older in the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA). The exposure was loneliness at baseline (wave two), measured with the short 1980 revision of the University of California, Los Angeles Loneliness Scale (R-UCLA). The primary outcome was a score indicating severity of depression measured at six subsequent timepoints (waves three to eight), using the eight-item version of the Centre for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D). Analyses were linear multilevel regressions, before and after adjusting for social isolation, social support, polygenic risk scores, and other sociodemographic and health-related confounders. The secondary outcome was depression diagnosis, measured using a binary version of the CES-D. Findings 4211 (46%) of 9171 eligible participants had complete data on exposure, outcome, and confounders, and were included in our complete case sample. After all adjustments, a 1-point increase in loneliness score was associated with a 0·16 (95% CI 0·13–0·19) increase in depressive symptom severity score (averaged across all follow-ups). We estimated a population attributable fraction for depression associated with loneliness of 18% (95% CI 12–24) at 1 year of follow-up and 11% (3–19) at the final follow-up (wave eight), suggesting that 11–18% of cases of depression could potentially be prevented if loneliness were eliminated. Associations between loneliness and depressive symptoms remained after 12 years of follow-up, although effect sizes were smaller with longer follow-up. Interpretation Irrespective of other social experiences, higher loneliness scores at baseline were associated with higher depression symptom severity scores during 12 years of follow-up among adults aged 50 years and older. Interventions that reduce loneliness could prevent or reduce depression in older adults, which presents a growing public health problem worldwide.
... Lastly, known-group validity of the UCLA Loneliness Scale (Version 3) was tested for the three versions using independent t-tests (with the independent variable of sexual orientation) and analyses of variance (with the independent variable of educational level in senior high or below, undergraduate, and postgraduate). Based on the previous literature, it was hypothesized that no differences would be found between gay and bisexual orientation [5] and that individuals with lower levels of educational attainment would report higher levels of loneliness [76]. All the statistical analyses were performed using R software (R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria). ...
... Moreover, the three versions of the UCLA Loneliness Scale (Version 3) effectively distinguished the different levels of loneliness between sexual-minority men with a higher educational level and those with a lower level. The finding echoes previous evidence in the literature [76]. Furthermore, there were no statistically significant differences in the levels of loneliness between gay and bisexual participants in the present study. ...
Article
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The UCLA Loneliness Scale, with different short versions, is widely used to assess levels of loneliness. However, whether the scale is valid in assessing loneliness among sexual-minority men is unknown. Additionally, it is unclear whether the 8-item and 3-item short versions are comparable to the full 20-item version. The present study compared the validity of the three versions of the UCLA Loneliness Scale (i.e., 20-item, 8-item, and 3-item versions) among gay and bisexual men in Taiwan. The participants comprised 400 gay and bisexual men in Taiwan who completed a cross-sectional online survey, which included the UCLA Loneliness Scale, Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) and State–Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI). Confirmatory factor analysis was used to evaluate factorial validity. Convergent validity was examined between the three versions of the UCLA Loneliness Scale and the CES-D and STAI. Known-group validity was investigated with participants’ sexual orientation and educational levels. The unidimensional construct was supported in all three versions of the UCLA Loneliness Scale tested in the present study. Convergent validity was supported as the level of loneliness was correlated with the level of depression and anxiety for all three versions. There were no significant differences between gay and bisexual men, although significant differences were found across different educational levels. The study confirmed that all three versions of the UCLA Loneliness Scale were comparable with satisfactory reliability and validity in Taiwanese sexual-minority men.
... We included both sets of findings in the narrative synthesis but neither gave results that could be combined in a metaanalysis. In addition, a PhD thesis investigated loneliness in people from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) [47] cohort, while a different study independently reported on the same cohort [48]. Again, both sets of results are described, but neither contributed to the quantitative analysis due to differences in methodology and statistical output. ...
... While there was no consistent pattern regarding study outcomes and study size, the two smallest studies did not find a significant relationship between loneliness and depression, while all seven studies with over 10,000 participants did. Two studies [47,48] analysed data from the HRS-a national longitudinal panel study of health and ageing in the US. Both suggested an association between loneliness and depression, but each used different combinations of items to measure loneliness and different statistical approaches (2 year cross-lagged panel analysis versus mean differences in depression score). ...
Article
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Purpose Loneliness is associated with poor health including premature mortality. There are cross-sectional associations with depression, anxiety, psychosis, and other mental health outcomes. However, it is not known whether loneliness is causally linked with the new onset of mental health problems in the general population. Longitudinal studies are key to understanding this relationship. We synthesized evidence from longitudinal studies investigating the relationship between loneliness and new onset of mental health problems, in the general population. Method We systematically searched six electronic databases, unpublished sources, and hand-searched of references, up to August 2021. We conducted a meta-analysis of eight independent cohorts and narrative synthesis of the remaining studies. Results We included 32 studies, of which the majority focused on depression. Our narrative synthesis found most studies show loneliness at baseline which is associated with the subsequent new onset of depression. The few studies on anxiety and self-harm also showed a positive association. Our meta-analysis found a pooled adjusted odds ratio of 2.33 (95% CI 1.62–3.34) for risk of new onset depression in adults who were often lonely compared with people who were not often lonely. This should be interpreted with caution given evidence of heterogeneity. Conclusion Loneliness is a public mental health issue. There is growing evidence; it is associated with the onset of depression and other common mental health problems. Future studies should explore its impact across the age range and in more diverse populations, look beyond depression, and explore the mechanisms involved with a view to better informing appropriate interventions.
... The evidence for associations between loneliness and alcohol use is mixed, with research showing no relationship (Cacioppo et al., 2002) or a negative relationship (Theeke, 2010). Still other research has shown that lonely persons report higher drinking frequency (Elovainio et al., 2017), but such drinking does not mediate loneliness-health associations (Christiansen et al., 2016). ...
... This highlights the importance of examining alcohol-linked mortality risk factors among younger adult age groups. Associations among loneliness, isolation, and alcohol use revealed that, contrary to Cacioppo et al., (2002) and Theeke (2010), loneliness was related to greater frequencies of overall consumption and subjective intoxication. Interestingly, social isolation was associated with less frequent overall drinking, but greater frequency of subjective intoxication. ...
Article
Introduction: Subjective feelings of loneliness and objective social isolation have been consistently connected with ill-health and mortality, though little work has empirically examined the mechanisms explaining the adverse effects. This study examines whether alcohol consumption explains the connection of loneliness and social isolation on mortality in different age and gender groups. Methods: The sample comprised a representative 1994 Finnish sample (n = 8,650) matched with 22-year follow-up mortality data. A multigroup path analysis with discrete survival time analyses was conducted. Results: There were unique differences in the associations between loneliness, social isolation, alcohol consumption, and mortality based on age and gender groups. Loneliness and particularly social isolation predicted mortality partly through subjective intoxication for women under 40 and men 40–65. Discussion: Loneliness and social isolation are associated with mortality, partly through subjective intoxication. Interventions targeted at reducing loneliness and social isolation may help address underlying causes of excess alcohol consumption and mortality.
... 16 Further, we detail specific characteristics of interventions, expand on those descriptions by describing behavioral theories and/or theoretical constructs incorporated into loneliness interventions, all in order to inform the design of future interventions targeting loneliness. Given that many deleterious outcomes are associated with loneliness, 14,[16][17][18] and the pervasiveness of cancer incidence is high in adults, 19 it is important to gain a greater understanding of intervention effectiveness toward mitigating loneliness. To quantify that degree of effectiveness, a meta-analysis of treatment efficacy was conducted. ...
... 31,[34][35][36] For example, Samarel et al. 36 recruited women with Stage 0-III breast cancer early post breast surgery, but initiated the loneliness reduction intervention at 16 weeks. At Phase I (weeks [16][17][18] there was a demonstrated reduction in loneliness, followed by an additional reduction during Phase III (weeks [50][51][52]. In another study by Tabrizi et al. 31 there was a significant reduction in loneliness scores over the study period among breast cancer survivors who were 4-18 months postsurgery (intervention group: 34.15 (8.45) 35 also among early stage breast cancer patients, and also demonstrating a reduction in loneliness scores which was consistent over all successive assessment time points. ...
Article
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Problem identification: Loneliness is common after cancer, contributing to poor outcomes. Interventions to modify loneliness are needed. This systematic review describes the current literature regarding loneliness interventions in cancer survivors. Literature search: Databases including: Ovid/MEDLINE; The Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL); Elsevier/Embase; Clarivate/Web of Science (Core Collection), EBSCO/PsycINFO, EBSCO/CINAHL were used to perform a systematic review of literature using PRISMA guidelines. Second, risk of bias, meta-analysis and a narrative synthesis approach was completed to synthesize findings from multiple studies. Data evaluation/synthesis: Six thousand five hundred three studies were initially evaluated; eight studies met inclusion criteria. Findings indicate a paucity of interventions, generally of lower quality. Interventions were feasible and acceptable; those interventions with cultural modifications were more likely to demonstrate effectiveness. Conclusions: There are limited interventions addressing loneliness in cancer survivors. Development and testing of culturally-relevant programs are warranted. Implications for psychosocial oncology: Current studies suggest the psychosocial symptom of loneliness is modifiable among adult cancer survivors. Few interventions have been tested and shown to be effectiveness in cancer survivors in the U.S. and none have been tailored for older adult survivors, by patient gender/sex and few for specific race/ethnic groups. Results from this systematic review: a narrative synthesis and meta-analysis can inform future interventions targeting loneliness in this growing, yet vulnerable, adult cancer survivor population.
... Loneliness among older adults substantially impacts their quality of life [5,6]. Compared to those not experiencing loneliness, older adults exhibiting chronic loneliness report less exercise, greater tobacco use, a greater number and severity of chronic illnesses, higher depression levels, and a greater average number of nursing home stays [7]. ...
Article
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Loneliness is linked to many physiological and psychological issues and disproportionately affects older adults. Interpersonal goals (compassion and self-image) are essential to interpersonal relationships; however, how they relate to loneliness in older adults is unknown. We investigated the impact of interpersonal goals on loneliness using the Ecosystem–Egosystem Theory of Social Motivation. This study, adopting a descriptive cross-sectional correlational design, used data from the 2016 Health and Retirement Study. Participants (n = 3212) included people aged >65 years (mean age: 75; female: 60.1%). We performed exploratory factor analysis with principal axis factoring and varimax rotation to examine the suitability of compassionate and self-image goals as separate factors. The complex samples general linear model was used to assess the relationship between loneliness and interpersonal goals. Interpersonal goals were significantly negatively associated with loneliness. Respondents with higher compassion and self-image goals reported lower loneliness levels. Our results contribute to understanding how interpersonal goals relate to loneliness in older adults. These initial findings warrant further investigation.
... This study revealed significant differences between the "more active", "same", and "less active" groups on students' well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic. This showed that the restriction imposed on the students due to the pandemic depicted a positive correlation to their quality of life [49,50]. The psychological impacts and the reduction in the students' physical activities could be due to the quarantine at home, increasing their sedentary behavior and decreasing motivation status. ...
Article
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Background: The authorities of the world had to take extraordinary containment measures due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic spreading across the globe. The only way to stay active during the pandemic was at-home physical activity (PA). The current study evaluates how these preventative measures impacted the PA and well-being of students. Methods: This study is multicentral and was conducted in Malaysia, India, Cambodia, and Saudi Arabia; participants were recruited from four different regions to answer the online questionnaire provided via a link shared using their personal WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Twitter social media. Results: The means of vigorous, moderate, and light PA (min/day) between the active and inactive groups were significantly different (p = 0.001, 0.007, and 0.001), respectively. In comparison with pre-COVID-19, the participants reported that it became more challenging to engage in regular exercise since the onset of social distance, associated with a lack of motivation followed by "less confidence", "less enjoyment", "less support, and fewer opportunities to engage in exercise"; moreover, it was "diffi-cult to maintain close relationships" and "hard to voice their options on contentious matters" (p = 0.001). Public health measures affected the PA and well-being of active and inactive students; this demonstrates that health promotion strategies aimed at enhancing levels of PA in inactive students may be necessary to improve students' well-being.
... Empirical studies have repeatedly shown that older adults with lower socioeconomic statuses (captured by factors like low educational level, low income, residential dissatisfaction, and living in deprived neighborhoods) are more likely to be lonely (14,20,(27)(28)(29). While there is virtually no literature directly linking socioeconomic status to the experience of loneliness, several theoretical pathways have been proposed through which low socioeconomic status increases the risk of loneliness. ...
Article
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Individual socioeconomic status has a significant impact on whether older adults can initiate and maintain social relationships and participate in society, hence it affects loneliness. At the macro level, income inequality is expected to increase the risk of loneliness by eroding social cohesion and trust, while welfare generosity might protect people from loneliness. The aim of the study is to explore whether income inequality and welfare generosity at the country level moderate the effect of socioeconomic status at the individual level on late-life loneliness. Data were obtained from the HRS family of surveys – the Survey of Health, Aging and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) (wave 5, 2011/12) and China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study (CHARLS) (wave 2, 2012/13). Respondents aged 50 years and older from twelve European countries and China were included in the study. Logistic country fixed effect models were used in the analysis. The findings show a stronger effect of individual socioeconomic status on late-life loneliness in more income-unequal societies and a weaker effect in more welfare-generous societies. There is a need to consider the impact of income distribution and welfare spending on the risk of loneliness among those older adults with low socioeconomic status when tailoring preventive programs and interventions to reduce loneliness among this vulnerable group.
... On the other hand, lack of close relations, limited support from friends, spouses and poor quality of relationships are major factors that promote loneliness/isolation and poor living conditions in old age. clearly, many factors such as gender, quality of social networks, health status, household composition, living arrangements and socio-economic status affect access to and receipt of home care services in old age (Shiovitz-Ezra, 2010, Theeke, 2007Tomaka, et al., 2006). Poor health and low physical functioning are significantly connected with increased isolation and poor access to home care services which invariably undermine socio-economic well-being among older people (Schmitt, et al., 2010). ...
Article
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Nigerians often prefer home care to institutional care because of negative attitude associated with public assisted institutional care. If older persons prefer to live in their own homes, then home care is imperative. This study examines differences in home care services in Lagos State; as well as identifies the factors that influence the expectations of older men and women in this respect. Since institutional care is not socially accepted, then there is a gap between what Nigerian elders want and the ability of the society to meet this need. Generally, Nigerian elders prefer to live in their own homes rather than be subjected to 'inhuman treatment' in institutions. Therefore, it is important to consider types of home care services available to older people in their own homes, the source(s) of this care and the preferences of older men and women which also shape their expectations. Home care is imperative because as people grow older, they require more care and support in order to cope with increasing frailty and diminishing socioeconomic status associated with ageing process. With diminishing capacity of older people to carry out 2 (ADLs)? What are the expectations of men and women as they age in terms of preferred choice of care? We expect the responses of men and women to vary in this regards. The paper presents data from a self-report of older men and women using cross-sectional survey in 20 local government areas in Lagos State. Modernization theory and life span theory are adopted as theoretical tools. It is expected that findings will sensitize major stakeholders towards care needs, expectations and preferences of older men and women in Lagos State, Nigeria. Abstract The present qualitative study was designed to investigate the material challenges facing the elderly services industry in Hong Kong. Twenty-one elderly service providers were invited to participate in this study and were asked to comment on the implementation and impacts of existing products and services for the elderly, to express their views on the government's leadership, policy and strategy on dealing with the ageing population, and to discuss the allocation of public resources and the making of strategic directions in the provision of elderly services. Three major policy-related issues were identified in the discussion, namely the fragmentation of the official policy on elderly services, the rigidity of public funding, and the use of human resources among service elderly providers. The present study draws on these findings to examine the shortage of frontline workforce from the societal and public policy perspectives. Health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and health insurance among middle age and old age Americans
... The contextual nature of social media usage, demographics of gender, relationship nature, education level and personality are also some aspects which may impact the loneliness components in individuals as given by the different previous researches but have not been explored in detail in this study [8] [55]. ...
Article
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In a fast-changing world, social media has become an important platform to exchange knowledge globally. Apart from this global phenomenon of exchanging knowledge, people may have various reasons to join certain groups. It has been observed that individuals, specifically belonging to the young generation, look for mutual positive support and the mere pleasure of affiliation in virtual reality; in order to avoid loneliness (Peplau& Perlman, 1982, as cited in Hoggs& Vaughan, 2018). The groups chosen by these people not only affect their behaviours but also their identities. According to social identity theory, individuals tend to derive their sense of self from the group memberships so that the driven identity becomes a part of their self-concept, therefore creating a dependence on the shared connection with the respective social group (Tajfel& Turner, 1979, cited by Kaakinen et al., 2018) [20]. Studies have shown the role played by social media platforms like Facebook, in the search for social identification by individuals for the gratification of affiliation needs [6] It has been found that young people might identify strongly with their online communities, in some cases even stronger than with their offline friends [27]. Several studies show that loneliness can play a role in an individual's need to find identification and belongingness through social media. In the present paper, the researchers have aimed to measure the extent to which individuals of the youth are able to socially identify through social media platforms and find its correlation with the loneliness that the respective individuals may experience by using the questionnaires: Identity Bubble Reinforcement Scale [20] and the UCLA Loneliness Scale [51]. The study was conducted on participants of ages 19-24 (n=62) who were based in Delhi NCR and had an affinity to social media. It was found that with the increase in online social media identification, the participant's loneliness seemed to decrease. Moreover, the findings of the study also suggested that among the three subdimensions of online social identification, homophily is seen to be the most dominant factor which plays the major role in reducing the loneliness of the participants. The results may be utilized to help people cope with loneliness and subsequent mental health issues with a balanced use of social media and online communities. Group therapy may also be employed through online mediums as well as a platform for people to showcase their talent, get appreciation, build a community and earn money can be created with safety measures regulated by social media developers.
... The above population also reported less exercise, more alcohol and tobacco use, greater number of chronic illnesses, higher depression scores and higher number of nursing home stays. 66 Furthermore, a number of other studies have shown that marriage is associated with better health and protection against premature mortality, especially for males. The above has been supported by research on mortality variation by living arrangement among older adults. ...
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Blue Zones are regions of the world that have a higher number of individuals who live longer than the expected average. The current paper revisits principles previously identified to be common in Blue Zones and to be contributing to longevity ( move naturally, eat wisely, improve resilience to stress, get adequate sleep, keep strong family ties, stimulate strong community support, respect for the planet and having a purpose in life’), compares these to the 6 pillars of Lifestyle Medicine ( healthy eating, exercising, avoidance of smoking and other risky substances, stress management, restorative sleep, and forming and maintaining relationships) and reviews new studies investigating the association between behavioral factors and longevity. In addition to the role of behavior, the review also discusses the important role of genetics and emphasizes the importance of conducting further research to understand how behavioral and genetic factors may affect molecular pathways with consequent effects on wellbeing and longevity.
... In Northern Ireland, where this study was carried out, the prevalence rates of loneliness are very high and 88% of people were concerned that loneliness had become a bigger issue since the pandemic began (AGLP, 2020). This is of public health significance as loneliness and social isolation are associated with worse health and wellbeing and increased mortality (Beutel et al., 2017;Cacioppo, Hawkley, & Thisted, 2010;Holt-Lunstad, Smith, Baker, Harris, & Stephenson, 2015;Steptoe, Shankar, Demakakos, & Wardle, 2013;Theeke, 2010). Unfortunately, loneliness is highly prevalent in older adulthood (Elovainio et al., 2017;Nyqvist, Cattan, Conradsson, Näsman, & Gustafsson, 2017;Victor & Yang, 2011), a life stage when managing multiple comorbidities is a major healthcare challenge (Lehnert et al., 2011;Nobili, Garattini, & Mannucci, 2011). ...
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Loneliness and isolation worsen health and wellbeing have been exacerbated by COVID-19, and represent a significant concern for supporting older adults. Music listening has effects that could be particularly supportive during periods of isolation. The aim of this study is to examine older adults’ music listening behaviour during the COVID-19 pandemic and explore music's social and emotional impact in this context. Semi-structured interviews enhanced with music-elicitation were carried out remotely between May and June 2021. Participants were self-selected, community-dwelling older adults residing in Northern Ireland ( N = 14; 6 males; 60–83 years). Most were living with their spouse or family, all were of White ethnicity and had varying levels of education. Data were analysed using reflexive thematic analysis. Two main themes were identified: (1) Music as an emotional resource and (2) Music as a social surrogate. Older adults had a preference for using music to induce positive feelings, and used music for negative affect regulation and consolation. Music acted as a social surrogate providing company, and reminders of social relationships and experiences. Music listening was a valued behaviour during COVID-19. Findings have implications for how music listening might be used as an accessible, low-resource tool for supporting isolated older adults.
... Social isolation may lead to depression (Ilardi, 2009) and stress (Lerner et al., 2003), both of which are detrimental to well-being (Uchino, 2006). Isolation can also lead to poor choices, which contribute to health problems, such as smoking and a sedentary lifestyle (Theeke, 2010), as well as an increase in healthrelated issues, such as high blood pressure and low immune functions (Hawkley & Cacioppo, 2010;Valtorta et al., 2016). Surprisingly, isolation may also contribute to a shorter life span (Holt-Lunstad et al., 2010;Holt-Lunstad et al., 2015;House, 2001) and even increased suicide rates (O'Connell et al., 2004). ...
Conference Paper
Aim/Purpose: This paper examines faculty feelings of isolation when teaching in a distance education environment. Background: Faculty who teach in an exclusively online environment often feel isolated, which may lead to decreased cognitive ability, depression, and increased mortality rates. In addition to personal detriments, these issues could negatively impact teaching performance. Methodology: Using narrative autoethnography, the authors of this study share their experiences of isolation teaching online and the benefits they felt from joining a Community of Practice (CoP) to help alleviate those symptoms. Contribution: Authors share how helpful their experiences were in adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic. Findings Results of this study suggest that utilizing the CoP model reduces faculty feelings of isolation and improves teaching performance. Recommendations for Practitioners: The authors recommend that other faculty consider participating in a CoP, even if they initially feel hesitant.
... Bu yaygın görüşü oluşturan çalışmaların bir kısmında yalnızlık; mutsuzluk, depresyon, kaygı, değersizlik gibi kavramlarla ilişkilendirilmiştir (Russell, Peplau ve Cutrona, 1980). Diğer çalışmalarda ise yalnızlığın uyum sağlamada güçlük (Duru, 2008), şiddete yüksek eğilim gösterme (Debarbieux, 2009), tütün bağımlılığı (Theeke, 2010), alkolizm (Medora ve Woodward, 1991), yaşamdan keyif alamama (Russell, 1982), yüksek stres (Smith, Theeke, Culp, Clark ve Pinto, 2014), düşük öz yeterlilik (Fry ve Debats, 2002), sosyal iletişim zorluğu (Lamm ve Stephan, 1987) başta olmak üzere olumsuz psikososyal değişkenlerle ilişkili negatif bir duygu durum olduğu belirtilmiştir. ...
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z: Bu çalışmanın amacı, üniversite öğrencilerinin yalnızlıklarının yordayıcısı olarak algılanan sosyal destek, utangaçlık ve benlik saygısı değişkenlerinin rolünü incelemektir. Bu amaç doğrultusunda Türkiye'deki çeşitli üniversitelerde öğrenim gören 333 (239 kadın, 94 erkek) üniversite öğrencisine ulaşılmıştır. Bu araştırmada UCLA veri toplama sürecinde uygun örnekleme yöntemi kullanılmıştır ve veriler sanal formlar uygulamaları (Google Formlar) kullanılarak toplanmıştır. Verilerin analizinde Binary (İkili) Lojistik Regresyon Analizi yöntemi kullanılmıştır. Araştırma bulgularından elde edilen sonuçlara göre; algılanan sosyal destek, utangaçlık ve benlik saygısı üniversite öğrencilerinin yalnızlıklarını yormada önemli bir etkiye sahiptir. Bunun yanı sıra benlik saygısının incelenen değişkenler arasında yalnızlığı yormadaki en güçlü değişken olduğu araştırma bulguları tarafından ortaya konulmuştur. Elde edilen bulgular alanyazın ışığında tartışılmıştır. Araştırmanın sonuçlarının, psikolojik danışmanlar,
... Older adults have been shown to be at high risk of loneliness and thus should be considered a crucial subgroup in many research fields [10]. Apart from other sociodemographic variables and health-related attributes in common with their local counterparts [11], migrant elderly have reported independent risk factors, the foremost being the social factors, such as the separation of old friends or peers and lost contact with their existing social networks [12]. As is mentioned above, limited attention was paid on the loneliness among older migrants inside of China as there was similar linguistic and cultural background to a large degree within the same country. ...
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Background: Driven by accelerating population aging and migration, the number of older migrants has increased rapidly in China. Those who moved to cities to look after grandchildren were referred to as the migrant elderly following children (MEFC). This study aims to examine the relationship between sense of belonging and loneliness and explore the moderating effect of migration pattern among the MEFC in China. Methods: The study included 656 MEFC aged 60 years and above. Loneliness was evaluated by the eight-item University of California Los Angeles Loneliness Scale (ULS-8). Sense of belonging and migration pattern were measured using a self-designed questionnaire. Hierarchical multiple regression was conducted to test the proposed association and moderating effect. A margins plot was introduced to illustrate this effect. Results: The average ULS-8 score was 12.82 ± 4.05, revealing a low level of loneliness. A weak sense of belonging was related with a higher level of loneliness (β = 0.096, p = 0.014). Migration pattern was found to exacerbate this association (β = 0.138, p = 0.026), especially for the elderly who migrated across provinces. Conclusions: Sense of belonging was correlated with loneliness, and the moderating role of migration pattern was established. Both policymakers and the adult children of inter-provincial migrant elderly should focus on this special subgroup.
... Both loneliness and social isolation are linked to substantially lower physiological and psychological health (42). This includes higher rates of morbidity, more chronic illnesses, higher depression scores, and less physical exercise (23,43). The potential health impacts are akin to that of smoking (44,45). ...
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Introduction COVID-19 related restrictions and recommendations have impacted everyone. Those living with a disability, such as individuals with a spinal cord injury (SCI), may have had pandemic related changes made yet more challenging by societal failures to accommodate their mobility, physical abilities, and health care needs. To better understand participants experiences we drew upon Heidegger's phenomenology and the mobilities paradigm. The objective of this study was to explore COVID-19 pandemic related lived-experiences of individuals with an SCI. Materials and Methods This study used an interpretive phenomenological methodology. Semi-structured interviews were the primary means of data collection. These were conducting in May and June of 2020, roughly 2–3 months into the pandemic. Transcript data were analyzed using a phenomenological methodology. Results We interviewed 22 participants with SCI, the mean age was 54 years, and nine were females. We identified three themes: (1) Experiencing changes to mobility and daily life described how new rules had impacted everyday life and usual routines, particularly in regard to mobility. (2) Struggling with new challenges explored some of the negative experiences of the pandemic. (3) Being resilient in the face of a new normal conveyed the resilience participants exhibited despite challenges. Conclusion Although our findings indicate some positive changes and highlight the strengths that many individuals with SCI have, they also accentuate issues with ableism within the medical system. Certain changes were made primarily because people without disabilities needed them, and several COVID-19 changes were made without consulting individuals with disabilities. With physical movement restricted, our findings emphasize the importance of the movement of information and a need for increased dialogue with people in the SCI community about their ongoing pandemic related needs.
... In particular, social isolation is also linked to higher mortality in older men and women (Cornwell and Waite, 2009;Steptoe et al., 2013). Thus, loneliness in older people is a global public health problem because of its serious impact on the quality of life (Chalise et al., 2007;Smith, 2012;Theeke, 2010;Thurston and Kubzansky, 2009). Major international health institutions have recognized the importance of addressing social isolation and loneliness in order to improve the well-being and quality of life of older people (Cattan et al., 2005;Department of Health and Social Care, 1999;WHO, 2002). ...
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The magnitude of the COVID-19 crisis is unprecedented; it has impacted millions of students around the world. Among these impacted students are participants in adult education. Adult education centres have engaged in a series of online activities that have enabled adults who had never used ICT resources before, to interact with other participants. In response to this challenge, this research provides scientific insight regarding the impact of the actions by one adult education centre in Spain, the participants' association Ágora, whose scope of responsibility is to service the entire neighbourhood of La Verneda (Barcelona). Its objective is to enable adults to acquire abilities and to develop initiative through participation in a broad and high-quality educational programme. Ágora offers the entire neighbourhood a range of cultural and educational activities. This article provides knowledge about how to help people minimize the negative consequences of confinement, and uses a communicative methodology to provide a dialogical recreation of knowledge which enables researchers to contribute to dismantling myths and false assumptions in identifying the benefits adult education can provide to participants. The field work was carried out online through semi-structured interviews with a number of adult participants between the ages of 30 and 90 who were engaged in adult education activities. The research revealed that participation improved the individuals' situation by enabling them to overcome loneliness or isolation.
... There is much evidence in the psychological literature pointing to other destructive functions of loneliness on psychological well-being and health. For example, it is also a predictor of unhealthy behaviors (Newall et al., 2012) such as smoking (Theeke, 2010), increased cardiovascular resistance and increased systolic blood pressure (Hawkley et al., 2010), impaired mental health and cognitive functions (Cacioppo & Hawkley, 2009), hospitalization (Löfvenmark, et al. 2009), and mortality (Shankar et al., 2011). Loneliness has been identified as a risk factor for depressive symptoms in both cross-sectional studies (Nolen-Hoeksema & Ahrens, 2002) and longitudinal studies (Heiniken & Kauppinen, 2004). ...
... Having supportive social relationships is related to decreased mortality risk (MacLeod, et al., 2018). Loneliness is related to poor subjective health (Cornwell & Waite, 2009;Havens, et al., 2004), multiple chronic illnesses (Theeke, 2010), impaired hearing (Victor et al., 2005), and poor selfreported functioning (Savikko et al., 2005). Loneliness can increase an individual's risk of depression, anxiety (Golden, et al., 2009;MacLeod, et al., 2018;Tiikkainen & Heikkinen, 2005), and dementia (Luo et al., 2012;Wilson, et al., 2007). ...
Article
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The Edmonton Seniors Centre Without Walls program provides free health, psychosocial, and educational telephone programming for older adults who experience multiple barriers to traditional in-person programming. The aim of this program evaluation was to assess outcomes of participation using validated scales of loneliness and psychosocial and health quality of life. Telephone interviews were conducted pre ( n = 160) and post ( n = 99) with participants. Given the variation in average attendance, results were assessed by level of participation: Low, Moderate, and High Users. There was statistically significant improvement in all participants’ attitudes towards their self-realization and towards energy levels, and EQ-5D-5L anxiety/depression scale after participation, along with a significant reduction in feelings of social isolation. The highest rates of improvement were seen within High Users. These findings suggest that telephone-based programs could be a useful intervention to improve the wellbeing and socially connectedness of older adults.
... Loneliness and social isolation have long been salient issues for LTC facilities [6,7]. Change in residence, the death of family members and friends, and increased medical needs have been associated with increased loneliness and isolation among LTC residents [6,[8][9][10][11][12][13]. As a way to address residents' quality of life, LTC facilities abide by federal regulations to facilitate resident communication opportunities with people within and outside of the facility. ...
Article
Background: The prevalence of COVID-19 in the U.S. led to mandated lockdowns for long-term care (LTC) facilities, resulting in loss of in-person contact with social ties for LTC residents. Though information and communication technologies (ICTs) can be used by LTC residents to support their socioemotional needs, residents must have access to ICTs in order to use them. Objective: This study explored ICT access and use in LTC institutions and how LTC institutions adapted to try to enhance social connections for their residents during COVID-19. Methods: LTC administrators in South Carolina were invited to complete an online survey exploring ICT access and use in LTC facilities and whether access and use changed as a result of COVID-19. Results: LTC administrators (N=70, 12 nursing homes, 58 assisted living facilities) completed the online survey. Since March 2020, 53% (37/70) of the LTC facilities have purchased ICTs for residents' use. ICTs have mainly been used for video conferencing with family members (31/36, 86%), friends (25/36, 69%), and/or healthcare providers (26/36, 72%). Nursing homes were 10.23 times more likely to purchase ICTs for residents' use during COVID-19 compared to assisted living facilities (OR 11.23, 95% CI 1.12-113.02; P = .04). Benefits of ICT use included residents' feeling connected to their family members, friends, and/or other residents. Barriers to ICT use included staff not having time to assist residents with using the technology, broken technology, and residents who do not want to share technology. Conclusions: Results of this exploratory study suggest that over half of the LTC institutions in this study were able to acquire ICTs for their residents to use during COVID-19. Additional research is needed to explore how residents adapted to using the ICTs and whether LTC facilities developed and/or adopted technology integration plans, which could help them be prepared for future situations that may affect LTC residents' engagement and communication opportunities, such as another pandemic. Clinicaltrial:
... One study performed in the United States showed that the prevalence of loneliness was 16.9%. However, the risk of loneliness increases with non-married status, poor self-esteem, lower educational level, and chronic diseases [10]. In addition, for 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 sociodemographic characteristics, authors have reported that loneliness is more common in women than men [11]. ...
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Aim This study aimed to assess the relationship between loneliness and hypothyroidism in patients with hypothyroidism and to determine predictors of loneliness. Materials and methods A cross-sectional study was conducted on hypothyroid patients attending the endocrine clinics at Alhada Military Hospital and Prince Mansour Military Hospital, Taif, Saudi Arabia between the period of December 2020 and May 2021. Patients with more than 18 years of hypothyroidism were included and those with other thyroid diseases were excluded as well as those with other comorbidities and psychiatric disorders and those who were living alone. Data were collected using an online pre-structured questionnaire. Results The study included 231 hypothyroid patients with a mean age of 43.34 ± 12.9 years, and 90.9% were females. The majority (96.5%) were taking levothyroxine, and 27.3% were practicing physical activity. Only 2.2% of the participants had a high degree of loneliness, whereas 47.2%, 34.6%, and 16% had low, moderate, and moderately high degrees of loneliness, respectively. Discussion In this study, 2.2% of sampled hypothyroid patients had high (2.2%) or moderately high degrees of loneliness feelings (16%). Duration of hypothyroidism was a significant predictor for high loneliness score.
... There is much evidence in the psychological literature pointing to other destructive functions of loneliness on psychological well-being and health. For example, it is also a predictor of unhealthy behaviors (Newall et al., 2012) such as smoking (Theeke, 2010), increased cardiovascular resistance and increased systolic blood pressure (Hawkley et al., 2010), impaired mental health and cognitive functions (Cacioppo & Hawkley, 2009), hospitalization (Löfvenmark, et al. 2009), and mortality (Shankar et al., 2011). Loneliness has been identified as a risk factor for depressive symptoms in both cross-sectional studies (Nolen-Hoeksema & Ahrens, 2002) and longitudinal studies (Heiniken & Kauppinen, 2004). ...
Article
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The aim of the online study is to explore the effect of feelings of loneliness, optimism and negative expectations on negative emotional experience during a pandemic. 290 women from 20 to 75 years of age were examined. Toolkit: (1) author's questionnaire consisting of four subscales: negative emotional experience related to welfare certainty , negative emotional experience related to health, negative emotional experience related to personal control over the situation and negative emotional experience related to family relationships (Koychev & Babakova, 2020); (2) an adapted version of the scale for social and emotional loneliness for adults (SELSA-S; DiTommaso et al., 2004) and (3) a scale for optimism and negative expectations (Velichkov & Radoslavova, 2005). Applying linear regression analysis it was found that the negative expectations have the strongest effect on the negative emotional experience related to welfare certainty (β = 0.256; p≤0.001). Health effects are influenced by social loneliness (β = 0.204; p = 0.004) in combination with negative expectations (β = 0.206; p = 0.001). The emotional experience connected with family relations is influenced by the feeling of emotional loneliness (β = 0.312; p = 0.001) combined with negative expectations (β = 0.133; p = 0.023). The female negative expectations reveal to be a good predictor for the negative emotional experience related to personal control over the situation (β = 0.232; p = 0.001). Тhe negative expectations combined with emotional loneliness impose higher influence on the personal control over the situation of women over 35 years(β = 0.607; p = 0.001).
... Various studies have observed that living with a spouse or partner has a protective effect on quality of life in the domains of physical health, sensory abilities, social participation and intimacy (So osov a 2016; Z. ; Zhou et al., 2014;Yang et al., 2012). Other studies also showed that loneliness is associated with adverse mental and physical health consequences for older people (Theeke, 2010;Rahman et al., 2019). Several studies have indicated that being widowed or divorced is a crucial factor for depressive symptoms (S. ...
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Despite improvements in many health indicators in the last few decades, providing access to affordable health care for elderly people is a major challenge in low- and middle-income countries like Bangladesh. The objective of this study was to measure the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) among older citizens in Bangladesh and to determine the factors influencing HRQoL. A cross-sectional household survey was conducted in the Tangail district of Bangladesh. The study was conducted among elderly citizens (aged 60 years or above, according to the National Policy on Elderly People in Bangladesh). Logistic and multiple regression models were used to identify the potential factors affecting the HRQoL of older citizens. A total of 585 older citizens participated in the study. The mean EQ-5D and VAS scores were 0.51 and 0.55, respectively. Most of the older citizens suffered from anxiety or depression (81.6%), followed by pain or discomfort (81.4%). The HRQoL is significantly higher for male than female older citizens (P<0.001). The older citizens currently involved in day labour or business had significantly less health-related problems in the mobility (p < 0.001) and self-care (p < 0.01). Housewives were 2.17 times more likely to report health problems in the ‘anxiety or depression’ while less likely to suffer ‘usual activities’ related health problems (p < 0.001). It is recommended that health authorities and relevant stakeholders prioritize various programs promoting health among the elderly, such as health education, health promotion and health resources, in order to improve HRQoL among the elderly citizens in Bangladesh.
... Loneliness is linked to multiple negative outcomes, including poorer psychological and physical well-being [9]. Negative psychological outcomes include distress, depression, anxiety, hostility/anger, impaired emotional self-regulation, and suicidal ideation and behavior [1,2,[10][11][12]. Loneliness has also been linked to diminished physical health, presumably through multiple pathways: for example, by dint of the person's status (e.g., limited access to health care or housing), through risky behaviors (e.g., drug use or sex work: Ref. [13]), and through the added stress on somatic functioning [14][15][16]. ...
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Groups marginalized and/or isolated by minority status—including transgender individuals—are at significant risk for loneliness and diminished quality of life (QoL), effects that can be mitigated to some extent by coping styles. In this study, we examined the relationships among coping styles, loneliness, and QoL outcomes in a marginalized but understudied gender minority group, namely, 200 transgender individuals living in communities in an emerging/developing non-Western geo-cultural region of South-Central Asia (Pakistan), comparing them against a reference group of 100 heterosexual cisgender individuals. Results indicated strong relationships among coping styles, loneliness, and QoL in both transgender and cisgender groups. Moderating variable analysis revealed that coping skills—whether adaptive or maladaptive—help explain differences in loneliness and QoL not only between trans- and cis- gender individuals, but also within just the transgender group. The implications of these findings for intervention strategies to improve QoL among transgender populations are discussed, with reference to both the specific context within Pakistan and the larger context of transgender marginalization within many developing/emerging countries.
... A number of papers have explored associations between loneliness and healthcare use (HCU) (1)(2)(3)(4)(5)(6)(7)(8)(9)(10)(11), with a subset of these controlling in some way for the potentially confounding role of health in these associations (2,3,5,7,10,11) as well as health behaviors more recently (12). The evidence base however remains mixed with some support for the presence of significant positive associations between loneliness and HCU independent of health (mostly in relation to physician/ General Practise (GP) visits (2,3,5,7,10) but lack of associations with HCU also reported at times (3,5,7,8) as well as a negative association in one study where older adults who were lonely in Singapore had significantly lower odds of physician visits (13). ...
Article
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Background: Few have explored associations between loneliness and healthcare use independent of health and health behaviors. Recent indication of gender effects also requires validation across health service and cultural settings. We investigated the associations among loneliness, health and healthcare use (HCU) in older adults including stratification to investigate whether associations differed by gender. Methods: Secondary analysis of a nationally representative sample of 8,309 community-dwelling adults aged 50 and over from the Northern Ireland Cohort for the Longitudinal Study of Aging. Primary outcomes were: self-reported General Practice (GP) and emergency department (ED) visits in past year. Negative binomial and logistic regression analysis were used to investigate associations between loneliness and HCU, later adjusting for potential confounders (health and health behaviors). Results: Loneliness was consistently positively associated with both GP and ED visits (with IRRs ranging from 1.10 to 1.49 for GP visits, 1.16 to 1.98 for ED visits and ORs ranging from 1.13 to 1.51 for reporting at least one ED visit). With addition of health and health behaviors, all associations between loneliness and HCU became non-significant, excepting a small independent association between UCLA score and GP visits [IRR 1.03 (95% CI 1.01–1.05)]. Stratification of models revealed no gender effects. Conclusion: All but one association between loneliness and HCU became non-significant when health and health behaviors were included. The remaining association was small but implications remain for health service resources at population level. No gender effects were present in contrast to recent findings in the Republic of Ireland. Further studies on gender, loneliness and healthcare use needed.
... There is a critical need to understand the trajectory of wound healing and interrelated psychosocial factors in lonely persons with CVLUs and to differentiate molecular mechanisms to advance future treatment approaches aimed to improve chronic wound healing and quality of life. We have demonstrated considerable expertise on the phenomenon of loneliness and its relation to health for chronically ill adults in the U.S. in analyses of Health and Retirement Study (HRS) data that identified predictors and outcomes of loneliness [52,53] incorporated into the psychoneuroimmunological (PNI) conceptual model (Fig. 2). ...
Article
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Background Chronic venous leg ulcers (CVLUs) are the most common type of lower extremity wound. Even when treated with evidenced-based care, 30–50% of CVLUs fail to heal. A specific gap exists about the association between psychosocial stressors, particularly loneliness, and biomarkers of inflammation and immunity. Loneliness is highly prevalent in persons with CVLUs, has damaging effects on health, and contributes to the development of multiple chronic conditions, promotes aberrant inflammation, and diminishes healing. However, the confluence of loneliness, inflammation and the wound healing trajectory has not been elucidated; specifically whether loneliness substantially mediates systemic inflammation and alters healing over time. This study seeks to address whether there is a specific biomarker profile associated with loneliness, CVLUs, and wound healing that is different from non-lonely persons with CVLUs. Methods An observational prospective study will identify, characterize and explore associations among psychosocial stressors, symptoms and biomarkers between 2 CVLU groups, with loneliness+ (n = 28) and without loneliness- (n = 28) during 4 weeks of wound treatment, measured at 3 time points. We will examine psychosocial stressors and symptoms using psychometrically-sound measures include PROMIS® and other questionnaires for loneliness, social isolation, depression, anxiety, stigma, sleep, fatigue, pain, quality of life, cognition, and function. Demographics data including health history, sex, age, wound type and size, wound age, and treatment will be recorded from the electronic health record. We will characterize a biomarker panel of inflammatory genes including chemotaxic and growth factors, vascular damage, and immune regulators that express in response to loneliness to loneliness and CVLUs using well-established RNA sequence and PCR methods for whole blood samples. In an exploratory aim we will explore whether age and sex/psychological stressors and symptoms indicate potential moderation/mediation of the effect of loneliness on the biomarker profile over the study period. Discussion This study will provide insight into the influence of psychosocial stressors, symptoms, and biological mechanisms on wound healing, towards advancing a future healing prediction model and interventions to address these stressors and symptoms experienced by persons with CVLUs.
... Напр. тя е предиктор и за нездравословни поведения (Newall et al., 2012) като пушене (Theeke, 2010), повишена сърдечносъдова резистентност и повишено систолно кръвно налягане (Hawkley et. al., 2010), нарушено психично здраве и когнитивни функции (Cacioppo & Hawkley, 2009), хоспитализация (Löfvenmark, et al. 2009 че хората с оптимистична нагласа имат по-високи нива на общо благополучие и тяхната основна стратегия за справяне със стреса е свързана с умението да се променят целите и гъвкавостта по отношение на плановете. ...
Conference Paper
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352 лица от 20 до 75 години. Инструментариум: (1) авторски въпросник, състоящ се от четири субскали: негативни преживявания, свързани с материална сигурност (α = 0,867), негативни преживявания, свързани със здравето (α = 0,884), негативни преживявания, свързани с личния контрол върху ситуацията (α = 0,863), и негативни преживявания, свързани със семейните отношения (α = 0,877); (2) адаптирана версия на скала за социална и емоционална самота за възрастни (SELSA-S; DiTommaso et al., 2004), съдържаща три субскали: социална са-мота, емоционална самота и интимно-личностна самота и (3) скала за оптимизъм и негативни очаквания (Радослвавова М, Величков А., 2005). Резултати: Чрез линеен регресионен анализ се установи, че негативните очаквания влияят най-силно върху преживяванията, свързани с материалната осигуреност (β = 0,241; р ≤ 0,001). Върху преживяванията, свързани със здравето, най-силно е въздействието на социалната самота (β = 0,169; р = 0,008) в комбинация с негативни очаквания (β = 0,195; р = 0,001). Преживяванията, свързани със семейните взаимоотношения, са повлияни преди всичко от емоционалната самота (β = 0,264; р ≤ 0,001) и негативните очаквания (β = 0,151; р = 0,005). Аналогично стоят нещата и с преживяlанията, свързани с личния контрол върху ситуацията. Изводи: негативните очаквания и чувството за самота са значими предиктори на индивидуалните негативни преживявания, свързани със социалните ограничения по време на пандемията.
... A literature review compiling data from studies conducted in 15 different countries demonstrated that social isolation and loneliness in older adults is associated with depression, cardiovascular disease, quality of life, general health, biological markers, cognitive function and mortality [4]. Researchers have further observed that chronically lonely older individuals are more likely to report less physical activity (PA) participation, increased tobacco use, increased prevalence of chronic diseases and conditions, and a greater average number of nursing home stays compared to their counterparts that are not lonely [4,[13][14][15]. ...
Article
Social isolation and loneliness are critical health epidemics among older adults. The present manuscript aimed to underscore group-based physical activity (GBPA) as an approach to prevent and/or reduce social isolation and loneliness among older adults and, therefore, avoid its negative health consequences. We compiled evidence from the literature to answer the following question: would GBPA be a better approach to prevent/reduce social isolation and loneliness among older adults compared to individual physical activity? There is evidence demonstrating that older adults participating in GBPA not only acquire the well-known physical benefits of physical activity but also experience improvements in social connectedness, due to the fact that individuals exercising with others. To this end, beyond providing physical health benefits, GBPA for older adults may have the potential to help prevent social isolation and loneliness by improving levels of social connectedness in this age group. Further research is much needed, as the literature seems to be scarce. This would help devise tailored exercise programs for those reporting to be isolated or feeling lonely.
... The COVID-19 pandemic enforced various challenges such as remote work, limited social interactions, and social isolation, provoking feelings of situational loneliness, which may negatively affect health and wellbeing (DiGiovanni et al., 2004;Cacioppo et al., 2010;Lin et al., 2010;Theeke, 2010;Beutel et al., 2017;Mullen et al., 2019;Son et al., 2020;Groarke et al., 2020;Nguyen et al., 2021). In the United Kingdom, 36% of adult respondents declared feeling lonely sometimes or often during the epidemic . ...
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In response to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, educational institutions around the world were forced into lockdown in order to contain the spread of the virus. To ensure continuous provision of education, most transitioned to emergency remote instruction. This has been particularly the case in higher education institutions. The circumstances of the pandemic have brought unprecedented psychological pressure on the population, in the case of educators and students exacerbated by the transition to a mode of instruction that was completely novel to the majority. The present study examines how college and university instructors dealt with teaching online in these unprecedented circumstances, with a focus on how factors connected with their daily lives and livelihoods influenced their well-being. A comprehensive online survey was filled out by 804 HE instructors from 92 countries between April and September 2020. We explore how sociodemographic variables such as gender, age, relationship status, living conditions, and length of professional experience non-trivially affect situational anxiety, work-life synergy, coping, and productivity. The results contribute to a better understanding of the impact of the pandemic and emergency remote instruction on college and university instructors’ well-being by explaining the mechanisms mediating the relationship between individual, contextual and affective variables. It may provide helpful guidelines for college and university administrators as well as teachers themselves as to how help alleviate the adverse effects of the continuing pandemic and school closures on coping and well-being.
... Previous studies have investigated changes in drug use owing to social isolation, though most tended to focus on elderly populations and reported mixed results (Raz & Berger, 2010;Tani et al., 2001). For example, findings from several studies have demonstrated that people who felt socially isolated were at higher risk for drug use, which typically occurred as a form of self-medication in order to alleviate negative emotions (Copeland et al., 2018;Osgood et al., 2014;Stickley et al., 2014;Theeke, 2010;Volkow, 2020). However, others have found that socially isolated individuals demonstrated lower levels of drug use due to lack of peer ties (Kobus & Henry, 2010). ...
Article
Background: Little is known about how COVID-19-related social distancing has affected illegal drug use. We surveyed electronic dance music (EDM) partygoers-a population known for high levels of drug use-to determine whether their drug use patterns had changed during state-mandated social distancing in New York. Methods: Individuals were recruited online and screened for eligibility throughout April and May 2020. We surveyed 128 eligible adults and queried, retrospectively, whether their drug use behavior had changed during COVID-19-related social distancing. Results: Most participants reporting past-three-month use reported decreased frequency of use during COVID-19-related social distancing. Specifically, 78.6% reduced frequency of use of cocaine, 71.1% reduced frequency of use of ecstasy/MDMA/Molly, and 68.0% reduced frequency of use of LSD. Although some participants reported increased frequency of use of cocaine (7.1%), ecstasy (7.9%), or LSD (12.0%), 35.0% reported increased frequency of cannabis use. Most (66.7%) of those reporting cocaine use reduced the amount used. The majority of those reporting use of cannabis, ecstasy, cocaine, and/or LSD reported that drug cost (80.0-84.0%) and drug quality (84.2-92.0%) did not change during social distancing. Having a college degree was associated with higher odds for decreasing frequency of cannabis use. Older participants (ages 23) were at lower odds for decreasing frequency of cocaine use, as were those earning >$500 per week, and participants who attended EDM events biweekly or more often were at higher odds for decreasing frequency of LSD use. Conclusions: Participants in this sample tended to reduce party drug use during COVID-19-related social distancing.
... Although it could not measure the loneliness deeply, this item had a high correlation with multi-items UCLA and other loneliness measurements. The validity was proven and it was reliable for measuring the loneliness [9], [22], [31]- [34]. ...
Conference Paper
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People with a disability commonly experienced the loneliness that considered as a risk factor for chronic diseases. This study conducted to examine the association between loneliness and health status of disabled people. A cross-sectional study included 2925 people with a disability who participated in the Indonesian Family Life Survey (IFLS) 2014-2015 and had completed data. Loneliness and health status obtained from book 3B and US in IFLS wave 5 dataset. Multiple logistic regression performed to analyze the data. This study found that 11.1% of respondents felt lonely (moderate to most of the time). Having vision problem had the highest proportion of being lonely. Feeling lonely most of the time had a higher risk for getting unhealthy condition (aOR 2.68; 95% CI 1.76-4.08) after controlled by age, sex, marital status, body mass index, and smoking behavior. Loneliness was associated with poorer health status. Social support needed to make the disabled person satisfy with their life and encourage them to keep healthy.
... Също така самотата е предиктор и за нездравословни поведения (Berkman & Glass, 2000;Newall et al., 2012) като пушене (Cacioppo et al., 2002;Cacioppo & Mary, 2006, Hawkley et al., 2003Theeke, 2010;Pressman et al., 2005) или лоша физическа активност (Hawkley, Thisted & Cacioppo, 2009), с повишена съдова резистентност (Hawkley et al., 2003), повишено систолно кръвно налягане (Hawkley et al., 2010) повишена хипоталамична хипофизна адренокортикална активност (Steptoe et al., 2004), променен имунитет (Pressman et al, 2005), нарушено психичното здраве и когнитивни функции (Cacioppo & Hawkley, 2009г), хоспитализация (Löfvenmark et al. 2009) и смъртност (Holt-Lunstad, Smith & Layton, 2010;Shankar et al., 2011). ...
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Academy of Music, Dance and Fine Arts "Prof. Asen Diamandiev" Assist. Prof. Julian Velkov, PhD, International Business School, Botevgrad Резюме: Самотата често се разглежда като симптом или предиктор на психиатрични проблеми. Това е сложно и уникално изживяване за всеки човек. Има много мнения по отношение на преживяването на това състояние, но превенцията и проявата на това състояние е строго индивидуална. Тази статия разглежда влиянието на социално-икономическите фактори върху преживяванията на самотата. Целта е да се предложи нов подход за определяне на самотата като норма, превантивна и патологична. Методи: 1) SELLA-S, който съдържа три субскали: социална самота, емоционална самота и интимна самота. 2) Анкета, съдържаща 24 социално-икономически фактора. Участници: 108 лица за 20-55 години. Резултати: След обработката на данните и интерпретирането на резултатите от MANOVA установихме, че следните икономически фактори имат критично влияние върху хората и е необходима превенция от клиничен психолог и психиатър. Като такива установихме, че това са факторът "доходи", който статистически значително влияе върху опита на интимната самота. Хората, чиито доходи са по основен трудов договор и втори трудов договор, както и тези, чиито основни доходи са от основен договор и наеми, изпитват много високи нива на самота в сравнение с тези, които работят само на един основен трудов договор. По същия начин фактор "закъсняло плащане на сметки и кредити" влияе върху човешкото благополучие, за което установихме, че хората, които закъсняват с изплащането на дълговете си повече от два пъти, са изложени на риск да преживява по-висока степен на социална самота в сравнение с тези, закъсняващи при плащане на сметки и кредити. Семейният статус може също да има патологичен ефект върху преживяването на интимната самота. Ключови думи: самота, психично здраве, социално-икономическите фактори, референтни стойности на самотата за консултативните и клинични психолози Abstract: Loneliness is often seen as a symptom or predictor of psychiatric problems. It is a complex and unique experience for every person. There are many opinions pointing to the experience of this condition, but the prevention and intervention of this condition is strictly individual. This paper examines the impact of socioeconomic factors on the loneliness experience. The aim is to propose a new approach to
... Un estudio de más de 1.600 adultos mayores israelíes señaló que el nivel de actividad física era inversamente proporcional a la percepción de soledad Los condicionantes sociales como la soledad tambiéhan sido relacionados con el incremento de la actividad simpático-adrenérgica, estimulada por un aumento de la actividad del eje hipotálamo-HIPOFISARIO-suprarrenal únicamente en mujeres (Netz et al., 2013). El no estar casado, el menor nivel educativo, el mayor deterioro funcional, el mayor número de enfermedades crónicas, los menores ingresos y la menor posibilidad de vivir en el hogar que había sido habitual se asociaron a la soledad en un estudio realizado en más de 13.800 adultos mayores de los Estados Unidos, en el que se observó que la prevalencia de la percepción de soledad era del 16,9 % Además, entre aquellos que experimentaron una percepción crónica de soledad se objetivó una menor práctica de actividad física, un mayor consumo de tabaco, un mayor número de enfermedades crónicas, una mayor prevalencia de depresión y una mayor institucionalización en residencias geriátricas (Theeke, 2010). ...
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Objectives Evidence-based strategies to reduce loneliness in later life are needed because loneliness impacts all domains of health, functioning, and quality of life. Volunteering is a promising strategy, as a large literature of observational studies documents associations between volunteering and better health and well-being. However, relatively few studies have used randomized controlled trials (RCTs) to examine benefits of volunteering, and none have examined loneliness. The primary objective of the Helping Older People Engage (HOPE) study is to examine the social-emotional benefits of a social volunteering program for lonely older adults. This manuscript describes the rationale and design of the trial. Methods We are randomly assigning adults aged 60 or older (up to 300) who report loneliness to 12 months of either AmeriCorps Seniors volunteering program or an active control (self-guided life review). Co-primary outcomes are assessed via self-report—loneliness (UCLA Loneliness Scale) and quality of life (WHOQOL-Bref). Enrollment was completed in May 2022 and follow-up assessments will continue through May 2023, with completion of primary outcomes soon thereafter. Conclusions Since older adults who report loneliness are less likely to actively seek out volunteering opportunities, if results support efficacy of volunteering for reducing loneliness, dissemination and scaling up efforts may involve connecting primary care patients who are lonely with AmeriCorps Seniors through aging services agencies. This RCT is registered at clinicaltrials.gov (NCT03343483).
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Objectives: Loneliness has a long-established link with depression; however, patterns of loneliness, specifically transient (short-term) and chronic loneliness (longer-term), have seldom been researched in terms of their associations with depression and psychiatric distress. We investigated whether chronic loneliness could predict higher levels of psychiatric distress and higher chance of depression diagnosis (via self-report) than transient and no loneliness. Methods: We used data from 18,999 participants in Waves 9 and 10 of the Understanding Society survey: a nationally representative study of adults in the United Kingdom. The study used a between-subjects, cross-sectional, design, where participants' scores on loneliness measures across two time points were combined to form patterns of loneliness, and participants were compared on their levels of psychiatric distress and depression diagnoses across the three loneliness groups: chronic loneliness (lonely at both time points), transient loneliness (lonely at one time point) and no loneliness. Results: Regression analyses revealed that patterns of loneliness predicted both the likelihood of participants reporting a history of depression diagnosis and participants' levels of psychiatric distress. The chronic loneliness group had the highest likelihood of self-reported depression diagnosis and had the highest levels of psychiatric distress, compared to both the transient and no loneliness groups. Transient loneliness, in turn, predicted higher likelihood of reporting a history of depression diagnosis and higher levels of psychiatric distress than the no loneliness group. Conclusions: The study replicates and extends prior findings, suggesting that prolonged loneliness even over the course of one year is a risk factor for poorer mental health.
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There are few studies estimating the loneliness of the Hakka elderly in China. This study aims to examine the loneliness status and related factors among the Hakka elderly in Fujian, China. The short-form UCLA Loneliness Scale (ULS-8) was used to assess the loneliness of the Hakka elderly. Factors associated with loneliness were classified as individual indicators, behavioral indicators, interpersonal indicators, and social indicators according to the health ecological model (HEM). Hierarchical linear regression models were established to identify the main factors that were most predictive of loneliness. A sample of 1,262 Hakka elderly people was included in this study. Females (β = 0.631, P = 0.012 ), those with ≥2 chronic diseases (β = 1.340, P < 0.001 ), those who were currently living in rural areas (β = 4.863, P < 0.001 ) or suburban areas (β = 2.027, P < 0.001 ), those with parents both died (β = 0.886, P = 0.001 ), and those with the Urban Employees Basic Medical Insurance (UEBMI; β = 0.852, P = 0.030 ) obtained a higher score of ULS-8. Those exercised regularly (β = −2.494, P < 0.001 ), those had leisure activities (β = −1.937, P < 0.001 ), those ate healthy (β = −1.270, P < 0.001 ), and those with better self-rated financial status and higher education level received a lower score of ULS-8. There are differences in loneliness among different Hakka elderly population subgroups, and healthy behaviors and lifestyles may reduce the loneliness of the Hakka elderly. Relevant interventions should be implemented in a targeted manner, focusing on susceptible populations. This is most evident among those who were female, living in rural areas, with parents both died, with lower education, and with multiple chronic diseases.
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Objectives As the fast population ageing in the past few decades, China has also witnessed an increase in the number of migrant elderly following children (MEFC). This study aims to examine the relationship between MEFC’s social support, smartphone usage and loneliness in Jinan, China. Design Cross-sectional survey. Setting Shandong Province, China. Participants The participants were 656 MEFC aged 60 years or above. Primary and secondary outcome measures Loneliness was measured by an eight-item version of the University of California Los Angeles Loneliness Scale (ULS-8). A t-test and one-way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) were conducted to compare the level of loneliness across different sociodemographic variables, social support indicators and smartphone usage indicators. Structural equation modelling was used to validate the association between the above variables. Results The MEFC’s mean score on the ULS-8 was 12.82±4.05, indicating a relatively lower level of loneliness. It was found that social support and smartphone usage exerted negative effects on loneliness of the MEFC, and the standardised direct effects were −0.165 (95% CI −0.257 to −0.070) and −0.094 (95% CI −0.180 to −0.003), respectively. Social support was found to be positively associated with smartphone usage of the MEFC, and the standardised direct effect was 0.147 (95% CI 0.052 to 0.246). Conclusions The loneliness of the MEFC was relatively low and was clarified to be negatively associated with social support and smartphone usage. Effective intervention measures on social support and smartphone usage to alleviate loneliness among the MEFC in China were recommended based on this study.
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Purpose: Loneliness and social isolation, experienced more long-term, has been shown to increase mortality and lead to poorer health outcomes in specific cohorts. However, it is unclear what the prevalence of chronic loneliness and social isolation is, and which demographic groups are most at risk of reporting more chronic forms. Methods: A psychometrically validated classification system was used to identify people who met criteria for episodic and chronic loneliness and social isolation using the Household Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey waves 14-18. Results: The cumulative prevalence over five years of loneliness (overall 34%; 21% episodic, 13% chronic) far exceeded that of social isolation (overall 17%; 13% episodic, 4% chronic). There was consistency in the demographic characteristics (from age, sex, household type, income) of those who experienced loneliness and social isolation. However, people with a long-term health condition had an elevated risk of episodic loneliness (AOR = 1.24, 95%CI = 1.11-1.39) and a markedly higher risk of chronic loneliness (AOR = 2.01, 95% CI = 1.76-2.29), compared with those without a long-term health condition. Conclusions: Loneliness, both episodic and chronic subtypes, is more prevalent than social isolation, yet remains neglected and poorly targeted within current practice and policy.
Chapter
This chapter is to review the literature of age, gender, and loneliness. Regression models with interaction terms have been conducted to test the moderating roles of age and gender in the relationship between social capital and loneliness. Results and discussions are presented.KeywordsAgeGenderSocial capitalLonelinessModerator
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Background and Objectives Loneliness is proposed to be linked with increased service use. This review examined the association of loneliness and health and social care utilisation (HSCU) in older adults from the general population. Research Design and Methods Four databases were screened for studies that examined the association of loneliness (predictor) with HSCU (outcome) in older adults (defined as majority of sample 60 or older). Study quality was assessed with the NIH scale for observational cohorts and cross-sectional studies. Results We identified 32 studies, of which 9 prospective studies were evaluated as being good or good-fair quality. Two good-fair quality studies found loneliness at baseline was associated with subsequent admission to a residential care home. There was emerging evidence that loneliness was associated with emergency department use (n=1), and CVD-specific hospitalisation (n=1). Once adjusted for confounders the highest quality studies found no association of baseline loneliness with physician utilisation, outpatient service utilisation, skilled nursing facility use, and planned or unplanned hospital admissions. The remaining, studies were cross-sectional, or of fair to poor quality, and inadequate to reliably determine whether loneliness was associated with a subsequent change in HSCU. Discussion and implications There was heterogeneity in study design, measurement, and study quality. This generated an inconsistent evidence base where we cannot determine clear inferences about the relationship between loneliness and HSCU. Only one consistent finding was observed between two good-fair quality studies regarding care home admission. To determine clinical implications and make reliable inferences additional good quality longitudinal research is needed.
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Background People with MS (pwMS) have had higher rates of anxiety and depression than the general population before the COVID-19 pandemic, placing them at higher risk of experiencing poor psychological wellbeing during the pandemic. Objective To assess mental health and its social/lifestyle determinants in pwMS during the first wave of the outbreak in the United Kingdom. Methods This is a community-based, prospective longitudinal cohort and cross-sectional case–control online questionnaire study. It includes 2010 pwMS from the UK MS Register and 380 people without MS. Results The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale scores of pwMS for anxiety and depression during the outbreak did not change from the previous year. PwMS were more likely to have anxiety (using General Anxiety Disorder-7) and/or depression (using Patient Health Questionnaire-9) than controls during the outbreak (OR: 2.14, 95% CI: 1.58–2.91). PwMS felt lonelier (OR: 1.37, 95% CI: 1.04–1.80) reported worse social support (OR: 1.90, 95% CI: 1.18–3.07) and reported worsened exercise habits (OR: 1.65, 95% CI: 1.18–2.32) during the outbreak than controls. Conclusion Early in the pandemic, pwMS remained at higher risk of experiencing anxiety and depression than the general population. It is important that multidisciplinary teams improve their support for the wellbeing of pwMS, who are vulnerable to the negative effects of the pandemic on their lifestyle and social support.
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There has been growing recognition of the harmful consequences of loneliness for health and well‐being, and the need for community intervention, particularly in times of global crisis such as the Covid‐19 pandemic with its imperatives of distancing, isolation, and quarantine. Social capital and a sense of social cohesion are known to have roles in buffering against the effects of adverse life circumstances. Our study sought to investigate the association of a range of social attitudes and activities – as proxies for social capital – with loneliness while taking into account socio‐demographic factors. We undertook a national survey on a stratified random sample of the New Zealand (NZ) adult population aged 18+ in 2017 (n = 1,358), data from which included the requisite variables. The prevalence of loneliness was highest in young adults (18–30), falling with age until a slight rise in older people (76+). Loneliness was associated with socio‐demographic factors, being more prevalent in the more disadvantaged groups: the deprived, Māori (the indigenous people of NZ), the non‐partnered, and the less educated. Controlling for these socio‐demographic factors, pro‐social attitudes (that is towards political efficacy, trust in others, not feeling exploited, or being committed to family) and participation in social activities (that is being employed or being involved in recreation groups) – were protective against loneliness. Our study supports asset‐based approaches to tackling loneliness – with implications for health and social care – that emphasise mobilising existing social resources, building social capital, and raising social cohesion in our communities. Such intervention on loneliness would help to prevent and ameliorate its detrimental consequences for public health.
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Purpose Rural residents may be at higher risk for loneliness than urban residents due to factors such as social isolation, poorer health, and socioeconomic disadvantage. To date, there have been few studies examining rural‐urban differences in loneliness among adults in the United States. We examined differences in loneliness across the rural‐urban continuum among adult residents living in Washington State. Methods Stratified random sampling was used to select 2,575 adults from small rural, large rural, suburban, and urban areas who were invited to complete a survey on factors affecting health. Data were obtained from 616 adults (278 from small rural, 100 from large rural, 98 from suburban, and 140 from urban areas) from June 2018 through October 2019. Loneliness was measured using the UCLA Loneliness Scale (3rd version). Multivariable linear and logistic regressions were used to examine geographic differences in loneliness (measured continuously and dichotomously). Findings Mean unadjusted loneliness scores were lower in suburban compared to urban areas (35.06 vs 38.57, P = .03). The prevalence of loneliness was 50.7%, 59.0%, 40.8%, and 54.3% in small rural, large rural, suburban, and urban areas, respectively. Suburban living was associated with lower odds for being lonely compared to urban living (unadjusted OR = 0.58; 95% CI = 0.34‐0.98), but this association was not statistically significant in the adjusted model (OR = 0.63; 95% CI = 0.33‐1.19). Conclusion Loneliness is a prevalent health issue across the rural‐urban continuum among Washington State adults.
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Loneliness has long been associated with older adult alcohol use; however, the relationship between loneliness and alcohol use remains complex, and poorly understood. The purpose of this study is to examine a possible causal pathway between functional independence, social engagement, loneliness, and drinking among older adults using structural equation modeling. A lower level of functional independence was a significant predictor of higher levels of loneliness and lower levels of social engagement. Additionally, higher feelings of loneliness predicted higher levels of drinking and higher levels of social engagement predicted lower levels of drinking.
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Rationale: Population aging is a major societal challenge that the US and many other countries are facing. The roles of intergenerational interactions are being increasingly recognized as important factors influencing health and well-being of older adults and other generations. Objective: This systematic review paper provides a critical assessment of the current state of knowledge about the impacts of intergenerational activities on older adults' health-related outcomes. Methods: Literature searches were conducted in October 2019 within MEDLINE, SocIndex, APA PsycInfo, and CINAHL Complete, using a pre-developed list of relevant keywords. Identified papers were reviewed and selected based on the following eligibility criteria: (1) older adults aged 50 or over as the study population, (2) nonfamily member intergenerational interactions as independent variables, (3) older adults' health-related outcomes as dependent variables, and (4) empirical and quantitative studies performed in the US and written in English. A total of 24 out of 22,674 identified articles met these eligibility criteria. Results: All of the 24 studies focused on evaluating intergenerational programs and their intervention effects. No studies addressed community or environmental interventions/effects. Program-based intergenerational interactions showed positive associations with older adults' physical health, psychosocial health (e.g. reduced depression), cognitive function, social relationships, and well-being/quality of life. Moreover, engagement in intergenerational activities was linked with increased physical and social activities. Conclusions: This review showed solid evidence supporting the significance of program-based interventions in promoting intergenerational activities and associated health benefits. Significant knowledge gaps are also found resulting from the lack of studies examining the roles of physical environmental interventions/factors, diverse types of intergenerational interactions, and location-driven activities. Such studies can contribute to a better understanding of the specific attributes, both program-based and place-based supports, of the community environment that can promote intergenerational interactions and healthy aging in place.
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In this study, the authors tested the relation between loneliness and subsequent admission to a nursing home over a 4-year time period in a sample of approximately 3,000 rural older Iowans. Higher levels of loneliness were found to increase the likelihood of nursing home admission and to decrease the time until nursing home admission. The influence of extremely high loneliness on nursing home admission remained statistically significant after controlling for other variables, such as age, education: income, mental status. physical health, morale, and social contact, that were also predictive of nursing horne admission, Several mechanisms are proposed to explain the link between extreme loneliness and nursing home admission. These include loneliness as a precipitant of declines in mental and physical health and nursing home placement as a strategy to gain social contact with others. Implications for preventative interventions are discussed.
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Earlier studies on gender differences in loneliness appear to have produced contradictory results. However, when 39 existing data sets were classified according to whether they used the UCLA scale (N = 28) or a self-labeling measure (N = II) of loneliness, the results revealed a clear pattern. Statistically significant sex differences are not usually found with the UCLA scale, but, when they are found, males typically have higher loneliness scores. In terms of self-labeling, women more frequently than men admit being lonely. Sex role factors may help explain these seemingly contradictory results. Of the various possible explanations of the gender differences in self-labeled loneliness, most assume that social influence processes play a crucial role. To test this viewpoint, an experiment was conducted. Subjects (N = 117) were presented with a case history of a lonely person, which varied only the target person's sex. The subjects were more rejecting of a lonely male than of a lonely female. These results support the view that women are more apt to acknowledge their loneliness than men because the negative consequences of admitting loneliness are less for women.
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The main goal of this article was to test whether the perceived availability of social provisions within and outside marriage in a representative Dutch sample of men and women in late adulthood would differ from findings from similar studies in the United States. We predicted that there would be more similarity between married men and women in self-reported social relationships, social provisions, and loneliness in the more feminine culture of The Netherlands than is often reported in research from the United States, where the dominant culture is more masculine. Data are from the Dutch Aging survey that involved a representative sample of 983 people between the ages of 40 and 85. As predicted, we found similarity between men and women in the size and composition of core networks, the provision of emotional support to and from the partner, and in the provision of instrumental support to others. Contrary to our hypothesis, women exchanged more emotional support with friends, children, and other family and identified these persons more often as companions in leisure activities. Despite the women’s greater reported involvement in other relationships, these men were not lonelier than were women. For both men and women, social provisions from close relationships beyond the partner relation contributed to alleviating loneliness.
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An examination of a range of definitions of culture indicates that almost all researchers agree that culture is reflected in shared cognitions, standard operating procedures, and unexamined assumptions. Cultural syndromes consist of shared shared attitudes, beliefs, norms, role and self definitions, and values of members of each culture that are organized around a theme. Two methods of measurement of syndromes that allow the examination of the convergence of the data from each method in each culture are (a) the identification of questionnaire items to which an arbitrary 90% of each sample responds on the same side of the neutral point and (b) the identification of items to which an arbitrary 90% of triads--consisting of members of each culture--agree among themselves in fewer than 60 seconds on the appropriate response to the item. The shorter the time to reach agreement, the more likely it is that the item is an element of culture. Examples of these approaches are presented, and discussion focuses on how to obtain good descriptions of cultures through psychological methods. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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A sample of 113 healthy older adults used a variant of the Rochester Interaction Record to describe the social interactions they had each day for two weeks. They also completed various measures of psychological well-being including life satisfaction and loneliness. A series of multilevel random coefficient analyses found that life satisfaction scores were positively related to how enjoyable interactions were, how self-assured people felt when interacting, how much control they felt they had over interactions, how responsive others were to their needs, and how socially active they were. Analyses that took participants’ marital status into account suggested, however, that interaction outcomes and life satisfaction were related only for married participants, and that these relationships were primarily due to interaction outcomes with spouses.
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On the average, older adults in Italy are lonelier than those in the Netherlands. The results of a study by Jylha & Jokela (1990) showed that loneliness was more prevalent in regions of Europe where living alone was rarest and where community bonds were strongest. This inverse macro-level association, an increasing proportion of lonely older people and a decreasing proportion of older people who live alone from northern to southern Europe, could not be explained by differences in individual social integration. The aim of the present study was to reinvestigate this association. The data were from surveys conducted in the Netherlands (N = 3750) and northwestern Tuscany, Italy (N = 1543). Fewer older adults lived alone in Tuscany than in the Netherlands, which indicates that the Dutch were less integrated. As regards their participation in social organizations and personal networks, the Tuscan older adults were less integrated. To a large extent, loneliness among the Dutch and Tuscans based on differences in social integration could be similarly explained, and regional loneliness differences could be attributed to individual situations and characteristics:
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This study examines loneliness and its correlates-health, residential care, partner status, and network size-over a seven-year period among adults born between 1908 and 1937. The four waves of data are from the Dutch "Living Arrangements and Social Networks of Older Adults" and the "Longitudinal Aging Study of Amsterdam" programs. Data from at least two waves are available for 2,925 respondents. Results show that older adults generally become lonelier as time passes. The increase is greater for the oldest, the partnered, and those with a better functional capacity at baseline. Older adults who lose their partner by death show the greatest increase in loneliness. Not all older adults become more lonely: Improvement in functional capacity and network expansion lead to less loneliness. Entry into residential care does not affect loneliness. The longitudinal design provides new insights into factors that protect against loneliness compared to cross-sectional studies
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We investigated autonomic and endocrine responses to acute stressors in 27 women who were or are presently caring for a spouse with a progressive dementia (high chronic stress) and 37 noncaregivers who were category matched for age and family income (low chronic stress). Measures were taken before (low acute stress) and in response to brief laboratory stressors (high acute stress). We replicated prior research showing that caregivers report greater stress, depression, and loneliness than the comparison groups, and acute stressors elevate autonomic and neuroendocrine activity. We also found that caregivers, relative to noncaregivers, exhibited shorter preejection periods and elevated blood pressure and heart rate, but the magnitude of autonomic and neuroendocrine reactivity to the experimental stressors was comparable across these groups. This pattern of autonomic differentiation replicates prior research showing that caregivers are characterized by higher sympathetic activation than noncaregivers and suggests that the effects of chronic stress on physiological reactivity may be a less robust effect in older adults.
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The present study is an examination of the influence of cultural background on the ways in which the aged cope with loneliness. Thirty-six participants from Canada and 105 from Portugal (60-83 years old) answered an 86-item questionnaire which examined thebeneficial strategies which they used to cope with loneliness. The strategies which were examined included Acceptance and Reflection, Self-Development and Understanding, Social Support Network, Distancing and Denial, Religion and Faith, and Increased Activity. Results indicated that the elderly of the two cultures differ on three subscales. Gender differences between and within cultures were also examined.
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Objectives: To determine the prevalence and demographic correlates of loneliness in a sample of older people in Perth, Western Australia. Methods: People aged 65 years and over living in private dwellings were recruited randomly, stratified by socioeconomic area, sex and 5-year age groups to 85 years. A total of 353 people with mean age of 77.5 years responded to a mailed questionnaire comprising demographic questions and three measures of loneliness. Results: Severe loneliness was reported by 7.0% of the sample and feeling lonely sometimes by 31.5%. Higher levels of loneliness were reported by single participants, those who lived alone and those with worse self-rated health. The protective value against loneliness of social networks appears to be, in order of importance: friends, relatives, neighbours and children. Conclusions: Although loneliness is not universally reported by older Perth residents, its prevalence is still considerable and worthy of attention from mental health practitioners and policy-makers.
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Suicide among older people, especially men, is a significant problem. In this study the applicability of the compensatory, the risk-protective, the challenge, and the protective-protective models of resiliency for the prediction of suicidal ideation from depression (the risk factor) and sense of belonging to the community (the protective factor) was investigated. A total of 351 retired Australians (130 males and 221 females), with a mean age of 71.31 years (SD = 7.99), completed the Zung Depression Scale, the suicide subscale of the General Health Questionnaire, and the Sense of Belonging Instrument. When sense of belonging (psychological) was the protective factor, results indicated support for the risk-protective model for men and women, and for the compensatory model for women only. In contrast, when sense of belonging (antecedents) was the protective factor, support was evident for the compensatory model for men and women, and for the challenge model for women only. Results indicate that interventions should be developed to enhance sense of belonging among aging adults.
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There is a great diversity in the available strategies for coping with loneliness. The present study examined the influence of age and gender on coping with loneliness. Seven hundred and eleven participants from all walks of life volunteered to answer an 86 item yes/no questionnaire, reflecting on the beneficial coping strategies, which they have used to deal with the pain of loneliness. Four age groups were compared: youth (13–18 years old), young adults (19–30 years old), adults (31–58 years old) and seniors (60–80 years old). Within and between gender comparisons were also done. Results revealed that loneliness is approached and dealt with more effectively by the adult group, and that women appear to cope better than men do with loneliness.
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Although the aging process brings with it some common challenges to older men and women, there has been little attention to gender differences in patterns of socioemotional functioning or their links to adaptive outcome. In this paper we examine patterns of socioemotional functioning among 687 “younger” (65–73 years) and 426 “older” (74–86 years) men and women, describe sex differences in these patterns, and examine whether the same patterns are linked to physical resilience in the same ways across groups. Cluster analysis was applied to 11 measures of socioemotional functioning with ten qualitatively different patterns emerging. As expected, men and women from our two age groups were not equally distributed across the patterns. As expected, older men more frequently manifested patterns of adaptation characterized by inhibited emotion but, together with younger men, were less likely to be represented in patterns characterized by stress-buffering friend support networks. The patterns also showed predictable links to a measure of physical resiliency, which was predicted by participant sex, and both sex and age interacted with cluster membership in predicting resiliency. Taken together, these data underscore the complexity of adaptation to later life among men and women and highlight the possibility that the existence of particular patterns of later life adaptation may have differing late life consequences for older men and women. Implications for the continued study of sex differences in adaptation to later life and directions for future research are given.
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Typescript. Thesis (Ph.D.)--New York University, School of Education, Health, Nursing, and Arts Professions, 1984. Includes bibliographical references.
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Some of the evidence linking loneliness to disease and premature death is summarized, and two mechanisms are proposed: gross dysfunctional behavior patterns and analogous internal dysfunctional physiologic changes. A psychosomatic treatment approach that combines insight therapy, especially regarding interpersonal relationships, and behavioral techniques in treating hypertension is illustrated by case histories.
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To compare the survival of elderly patients hospitalized for acute myocardial infarction who have emotional support with that of patients who lack such support, while controlling for severity of disease, comorbidity, and functional status. A prospective, community-based cohort study. Two hospitals in New Haven, Connecticut. Men (n = 100) and women (n = 94) 65 years of age or more hospitalized for acute myocardial infarction between 1982 and 1988. Social support, age, gender, race, education, marital status, living arrangements, presence of depression, smoking history, weight, and physical function were assessed prospectively using questionnaires. The presence of congestive heart failure, pulmonary edema, and cardiogenic shock; the position of infarction; in-hospital complications; and history of myocardial infarction were assessed using medical records. Comorbidity was defined using an index based on the presence of eight conditions. Of 194 patients, 76 (39%) died in the first 6 months after myocardial infarction. In multiple logistic regression analyses, lack of emotional support was significantly associated with 6-month mortality (odds ratio, 2.9; 95% CI, 1.2 to 6.9) after controlling for severity of myocardial infarction, comorbidity, risk factors such as smoking and hypertension, and sociodemographic factors. When emotional support was assessed before myocardial infarction, it was independently related to risk for death in the subsequent 6 months.