Loneliness Among Cognitively Intact Residents of Nursing Homes With and Without Cancer: A 6-Year Longitudinal Study
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionSAGE Open Nursing. 2020, 6. https://doi.org/10.1177/2377960820907778
Limited information exists regarding the natural development of loneliness and its determinants among cognitively intact nursing home residents. We aimed to examine loneliness among nursing home residents by following up for 6 years and to determine whether sociodemographic factors, diagnosis of cancer, sense of coherence, social support, and depression symptoms influence loneliness. The study was longitudinal and prospective and included baseline assessment and 6-year follow-up. After baseline assessment of 227 cognitively intact nursing home residents (Clinical Dementia Rating score ≤0.5), 52 respondents were interviewed a second time at the 5-year follow-up and 18 respondents a third time at the 6-year follow-up. Data from the interviews were recorded using a global question of loneliness, the Social Provisions Scale, Sense of Coherence Scale, and Geriatric Depression Scale. Scores on Groll’s index (p = .02) and the Sense of Coherence Scale (p = .04) were positively correlated with loneliness and negatively correlated with geriatric depression (p = .001). Having a diagnosis of cancer, social support, and age were not correlated with loneliness 6 years from baseline. Loneliness did not change during the 6 years of follow-up, and symptoms of depression and the sense of coherence appeared to be important components of loneliness. Finally, having a diagnosis of cancer and social support were not associated with loneliness.