Browsing by Subject "Loneliness"

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  • Batty, G. David; Zaninotto, Paola; Elovainio, Marko J.; Hakulinen, Christian A. (2021)
    Objective: The suggestion from cross-review comparison that lower levels of social integration (social isolation, loneliness) and cigarette smoking are equally powerful predictors of premature mortality has been promulgated by policy organisations and widely reported in the media. For the first time, we examined this assertion by simultaneously comparing these associations using data from two large cohort studies. Study design: Individual-participant analyses of two large prospective cohort studies. Methods: Participants in UK Biobank and the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing reported loneliness, social-isolation and smoking behaviours using standard scales at baseline. Cause-specific mortality was ascertained via linkage to national registries. We used Cox regression analyses to compute a relative index of inequality to summarise the relation between these baseline characteristics and mortality experience. Results: Mean age at baseline was 56.5 years in the 466,876 (273,452 women) Biobank participants and 66.1 years in the 7505 (4123 women) English Longitudinal Study of Ageing members. In Biobank, a mean duration of mortality surveillance of 6.6 years gave rise to a total of 13,072 deaths, while in the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing, 1183 deaths occurred after a mean of 7.7 years. In ascending magnitude, loneliness, social isolation then cigarette smoking were associated with an increased risk of mortality from all-causes and all cancers combined. When cardiovascular disease mortality was the endpoint of interest, both smoking and social isolation, though not loneliness, revealed similar relationships. Conclusions: Contrary to cross-review comparisons, in the present datasets it appears that poor social integration is in fact less strongly linked to total mortality than cigarette smoking.
  • Pirhonen, Jari; Tiilikainen, Elisa; Pekkarinen, Satu; Lemivaara, Marjut; Melkas, Helina (2020)
    This future-oriented study examines the opportunities and challenges offered by social robots and communication technology when aiming to decrease emotional and social loneliness in older people residing in assisted living (AL). The paper draws on prior literature on loneliness, elder care and social robots. The aim is to scan the futures regarding technology support for the frail older people in future AL. The analytical frame was built on Robert Weiss’ division of relational functions: attachment, social integration, opportunity for nurturance, reassurance of worth, sense of reliable alliance, and guidance in stressful situations, and on a distinction between direct and indirect social robots. Our examinations show that social robots could tackle both emotional and social loneliness in assisted living by empowering people to engage in different forms of social interaction inside and outside the facility. However, ethical concerns of objectification, lack of human contact, and deception need to be thoroughly considered when implementing social robots in care for frail older people.
  • Kraav, Siiri-Liisi; Lehto, Soili M.; Junttila, Niina; Ruusunen, Anu; Kauhanen, Jussi; Hantunen, Sari; Tolmunen, Tommi (2021)
    Purpose of the article There is growing interest in loneliness and its various adverse effects on mental and physical health. While depression is one of the adverse health effects associated with loneliness, there have been some limitations in previous studies: 1) Research has mostly been carried out either in depressed patient samples or in general population samples with depressive symptoms as an outcome, 2) the follow-up times have been rather short, and 3) the mechanisms through which loneliness associates with depression are still unclear. Materials and methods We examined the association between loneliness and incident depression and possible mechanisms underlying this association in a population-based sample of middle-aged men (N = 2339; mean age 53; mean follow-up time 23.5 years). The association between loneliness and depression was explored with Cox proportional hazard analysis, and mediation analyses were performed with the PROCESS macro for SPSS. We used 13 health and lifestyle-related variables as covariates for adjustments in multivariate models and as mediators in simple mediation models. Results Those with depression as an outcome (n = 99) had significantly higher loneliness scale scores at baseline, and baseline loneliness was associated with depression, despite adjustments for potential confounding factors. No mediating factors were observed. Conclusions There was a strong direct association between loneliness and the incidence of depression. Based on our results, we encourage future researchers to look for possible mediators in wider range of variables.
  • Elovainio, Marko; Lumme, Sonja; Arffman, Martti; Manderbacka, Kristiina; Pukkala, Eero; Hakulinen, Christian (2021)
    Lack of social contacts has been associated with an increased risk of cancer mortality, but it is not known whether living alone increases the risk of cancer incidence or case fatality. We examined the association between living alone with cancer incidence, case-fatality and all-cause mortality in eight most common cancers. All patients with their first cancer diagnosis in 2000-2017 were identified from the nationwide Finnish Cancer Registry. Information on living arrangements was derived from Statistics Finland. The incidence analyses were conducted using Poisson regression. The total Finnish population served as the population at risk. Fine-Gray model was used to estimate case-fatality and Cox proportional regression model all-cause mortality. In men, we found an association between history of living alone and excess lung cancer incidence but living alone seemed to be associated with lower incidence of prostate cancer and skin melanoma. In women, living alone was more consistently associated with higher incidence of all studied cancers. Cancer patients living alone had an 11%-80% statistically significantly increased case-fatality and all-cause mortality in all studied cancers in men and in breast, colorectal and lung cancer in women. Living alone is consistently associated with increased cancer incidence risk in women but only in some cancers in men. Both men and women living alone had an increased risk of all-cause mortality after cancer diagnosis.
  • Jansson, Anu; Karisto, Antti; Pitkälä, Kaisu (2021)
    Background: More than one in three older people in assisted living facilities suffer from loneliness that leads to adverse health outcomes. Group work may have the potential to improve residents' quality of life. Aims/Objectives: The purpose of this feasibility study was to thoroughly describe a facilitated group process and compare its effects on cognitively impaired (n = 6) and cognitively intact (n = 7) lonely resident groups in assisted living facilities. Material and Methods: We used a closed, occupational therapy-oriented group model designed for lonely people. The study used a qualitative, multi-method approach. Material included individual and focus group interviews, observations and the facilitators' field diaries. Results: Loneliness was reflected in diverse ways in both groups. Meaningful activities in mutual interaction played an important role in empowering the participants and enabling the development of the group process. Group processes had similar, parallel steps, from which the participants seemed to benefit. Surprisingly, the cognitively impaired group progressed towards self-direction more quickly than the cognitively intact group. Conclusions: A group process with clearly progressing steps revealed that lonely older people are capable of empowerment and self-direction - despite their frailty and cognitive impairment. Facilitators should be familiar with group processes to enable them to progress effectively.
  • Pitkälä, Kaisu; Strandberg, Timo (2018)
  • Mustajärvi, Suvi (Helsingfors universitet, 2012)
    Research of social exclusion is mainly focused on to explore young people and adults. There is only limited research available of social exclusion of children under school age. Social exclusion is however involved in a day care centre's every day life. Social exclusion is a multi-threaded term which is included closely in theories of socialization and children's social development. Previous researches have shown that social exclusion is a sum of many factors. Researchers' definitions of social exclusion are often varied according to what has been the subject and purpose of the research. This research focuses on to examine how the withdrawn behaviour appears in day care centre and how does it affect to social relationships between children. The research also studies the amount of support that withdrawn children need compared to other children. Previous researches have demonstrated that withdrawn behaviour is one of many sections of the social exclusion. The material of this study is gathered from "Orientaation lähteillä" research (Reunamo 2010). 50 day care centres and 14 childminders from Uusimaa and Hämeenlinna took part in the research. Age of the 892 children who participated in the research varied from one to seven. Method of this research was quantitative and the data was gathered by observation, interviews and teachers pedagogical evaluation of children. The data was analysed by using a one way analysis of variance and the statistical significance of results were confirmed by Kruskall-Wall test. According to this study the withdrawn child's main activity was orientation action; wandering around, waiting for something to happen or monitoring the situation. When the withdrawn children attached to action they didn't seek other children's company or express interest in other children's activities. Withdrawn children didn't have interest in social objects like toys or other items. According to teachers' evaluations withdrawn children needed more support in different areas of development than other children. The needs of support were not only in the field of social development but also on the side of motor-, cognitive- and emotional development. Social isolation and problems with it appear as early as under school age. The younger the child is the easier it is to intervene and cut the social exclusion circle.
  • Savikko, Niina; Jansson, Anu; Pitkälä, Kaisu (2019)
    Ikääntyneiden yksinäisyys on yleistä. Se voi johtaa kognition heikkenemiseen ja muistisairauteen. Yksinäisten kognitioon voidaan vaikuttaa psykososiaalisella interventiolla, kuten Ystäväpiiri-ryhmän avulla. Terveydenhuollon ammattilaisten tulee kysyä yksinäisyydestä ja käsitellä sitä vakavana terveysriskinä.