Browsing by Subject "SOCIAL-ISOLATION"

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  • 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.
  • Ahola, Milla K.; Vapalahti, Katariina; Lohi, Hannes (2017)
    Behaviour problems are common in companion felines, and problematic behaviour may be a sign of chronic stress. In laboratory animals, early weaning increases the risk for aggression, anxiety, and stereotypic behaviour. However, very few studies have focused on early weaning in one of the world's most popular pets, the domestic cat, although weaning soon after the critical period of socialisation is common practice. To study the effects of early weaning (<12 weeks) on behaviour, a large data set (N = 5726, 40 breeds) was collected from home-living domestic cats through a questionnaire survey. The results show that weaning before 8 weeks of age increases the risk for aggression, but not fearful behaviour. Moreover, cats weaned after 14 weeks of age have a lower probability for aggression towards strangers than early weaned cats and a lower probability for stereotypic behaviour (excessive grooming) than cats weaned at 12 weeks. The effect of weaning age on stereotypic behaviour is partially explained by the effects on aggression. These findings indicate that early weaning has a detrimental effect on behaviour, and suggest delayed weaning as a simple and inexpensive approach to significantly improve the welfare of millions of domestic cats.
  • 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.
  • Kaltiala-Heino, Riittakerttu; Lankinen, Vilma; Marttunen, Mauri; Lindberg, Nina; Frojd, Sari (2016)
    Overweight is reportedly a risk factor for being bullied, and body image may mediate this association. Research on associations between overweight and bullying has so far only focused on children and early adolescents. We explored associations between actual and perceived overweight at age 15 and involvement in bullying at ages 15 and 17. A total of 2070 Finnish adolescents responded to a survey at ages 15 and 17. Self-reported weight and height, perceived weight and involvement in bullying were elicited. Being overweight at age 15 was not associated with being bullied or with being a bully at age 15 or 17. Perceived overweight among girls was associated with subsequent involvement in bullying as a bully and in feeling shunned. Weight related bullying may decrease from pre- and early adolescence to middle adolescence. The associations between perceived overweight and self-identification as a bully, and those between perceived overweight and feeling isolated may be explained by the phenomena representing psychological dysfunction. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
  • Savolainen, Iina; Oksanen, Atte; Kaakinen, Markus; Sirola, Anu; Paek, Hye-Jin (2020)
    Background: In the ever-growing and technologically advancing world, an increasing amount of social interaction takes place through the Web. With this change, loneliness is becoming an unprecedented societal issue, making youth more susceptible to various physical and mental health problems. This societal change also influences the dynamics of addiction. Objective: Employing the cognitive discrepancy loneliness model, this study aimed to provide a social psychological perspective on youth addictions. Methods: A comprehensive survey was used to collect data from American (N=1212; mean 20.05, SD 3.19; 608/1212, 50.17% women), South Korean (N=1192; mean 20.61, SD 3.24; 601/1192, 50.42% women), and Finnish (N=1200; mean 21.29, SD 2.85; 600/1200, 50.00% women) youths aged 15 to 25 years. Perceived loneliness was assessed with the 3-item Loneliness Scale. A total of 3 addictive behaviors were measured, including excessive alcohol use, compulsive internet use, and problem gambling. A total of 2 separate models using linear regression analyses were estimated for each country to examine the association between perceived loneliness and addiction. Results: Loneliness was significantly related to only compulsive internet use among the youth in all 3 countries (P Conclusions: The findings reveal existing differences between youths who spend excessive amounts of time online and those who engage in other types of addictive behaviors. Experiencing loneliness is consistently linked to compulsive internet use across countries, although different underlying factors may explain other forms of addiction. These findings provide a deeper understanding in the mechanisms of youth addiction and can help improve prevention and intervention work, especially in terms of compulsive internet use.
  • Jansson, Anu H.; Savikko, Niina M.; Pitkälä, Kaisu H. (2018)
    Background and objectives: Although randomized controlled trials (RCTs) have been performed to alleviate loneliness among older people, little is known about how they have been implemented, or whether they are effective in real life. Our RCT-based model, "Circle of Friends" (CoF) proved to be effective in improving the wellbeing, health and cognition of lonely older people. Over 10 years we have systematically trained 752 professional facilitators of lonely older people's CoF groups. This study aims to explain how this training has succeeded in practice and to describe the outcomes of CoF implementation. Research Design and Methods: Survey data were gathered in 2006-2016 from trained facilitators (n = 319) and CoF participants (n = 1041). Results: The CoF has been disseminated in 80 municipalities in Finland. The trained CoF facilitators have maintained the original key elements and structure of the model fairly well in its implementation and dissemination processes. The main objectives of CoF - the alleviation of loneliness, making new friends, and members continuing meetings on their own - have remained the facilitators' priority. The CoF socially activates older participants, as 67% organized group meetings after the facilitated process. However, the CoF has become diluted in some aspects during its dissemination, as a small proportion of trained facilitators have implemented the model in their own way. Discussion and Implications: The CoF may be an encouraging example of how an original RCT model with a rigorous training program can be implemented and disseminated in real-life settings over 10 years.
  • Kaltiala-Heino, Riittakerttu; Sumia, Maria; Tyolajarvi, Marja; Lindberg, Nina (2015)
    Background: Increasing numbers of adolescents present in adolescent gender identity services, desiring sex reassignment (SR). The aim of this study is to describe the adolescent applicants for legal and medical sex reassignment during the first two years of adolescent gender identity team in Finland, in terms of sociodemographic, psychiatric and gender identity related factors and adolescent development. Methods: Structured quantitative retrospective chart review and qualitative analysis of case files of all adolescent SR applicants who entered the assessment by the end of 2013. Results: The number of referrals exceeded expectations in light of epidemiological knowledge. Natal girls were markedly overrepresented among applicants. Severe psychopathology preceding onset of gender dysphoria was common. Autism spectrum problems were very common. Conclusion: The findings do not fit the commonly accepted image of a gender dysphoric minor. Treatment guidelines need to consider gender dysphoria in minors in the context of severe psychopathology and developmental difficulties.