Social Networks, Community Engagement, and Cognitive Impairment among Community-Dwelling Chinese Older Adults

Jinlei Li, Zijuan Wang, Zhiwei Lian, Zhikai Zhu, Yuanli Liu
Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders Extra 2019, 9 (3): 330-337

Aims: To examine the association of social networks and community engagement with cognitive impairment among community-dwelling Chinese older adults.

Methods: From November 2017 to May 2018, we selected 1,115 elderly individuals from 3 Chinese communities (Beijing, Hefei, and Lanzhou) using a random-cluster sampling method, and recorded data on demographics, social network characteristics, community activities, and cognitive function. The odds ratios (ORs) of these associations were adjusted for potential confounders in logistic regression models.

Results: The prevalence of cognitive impairment was 25.7' ( n = 287). An adequate social network (OR 0.55; 95' confidence interval [CI] 0.33-0.91) and enough social support from friends (OR 0.43; 95' CI 0.29-0.62) were negatively associated with cognitive impairment. Family support was not significantly associated with cognitive impairment (OR 0.64; 95' CI 0.34-1.21). Taking part in elderly group travel, communication with others using WeChat, and community activities such as Tai Chi and walking together were negatively associated with cognitive impairment.

Conclusion: Social network characteristics and community engagement were found to be related to cognitive function among community-dwelling Chinese elderly adults.


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