[Factors associated with social isolation in older adults using senior welfare centers]

Yeon-Hwan Park, Hee Sun Kang
Journal of Korean Academy of Nursing 2008, 38 (5): 712-9

PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to investigate the factors associated with social isolation in older adults using a senior welfare center.

METHODS: This study was a cross-sectional survey. Data was collected from June to August 2006 using a questionnaire. A total of 248 older adults responded.

RESULTS: About one third (34.9%) of participants responded they felt socially isolated. There were statistically significant differences in living, religion, family and belongingness social support, loneliness, depression, family function, perceived health status, and number of chronic illnesses between socially isolated and non isolated groups. However, factors influencing social isolation were family function (OR=0.954, CI=0.926-0.982), loneliness (OR=1.042, CI=1.002-1.083), depression (OR=1.041, CI=1.002-1.081), and number of chronic illness (OR=1.657, CI=1.153-2.382).

CONCLUSION: We found that some older adults were feeling socially isolated even though the senior welfare center was a good place to meet people. The findings of this study indicated that older adults suffering from social isolation need special attention and may benefit from interventions which promote health and social interactions. Further studies are needed to develop and evaluate an intervention program for this population.


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