Defining loneliness in older adults: protocol for a systematic review.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Socialization is an important part of the healthy aging process, but natural changes in the lifestyle and health of older people increased risk of loneliness. However, loneliness is not well defined and might differ in different cultures and settings. The main objective of this systematic review is to summarize literature on the topic and propose a definition that might help aging research and practice in the future. METHODS:Eight databases including PubMed, Scopus, CINAHL, Web of Science, EMBASE, PsycINFO, Proquest, and Age Line bibliographic will be run individually to retrieve relevant literature on loneliness among elderly population using subject headings and appropriate MeSH terms. Inclusion and exclusion criteria will be developed and refined by the research team. Two reviewers will participate in each search stage including abstract/title and full text screening, data extraction, and appraisal. We will restrict our search to articles published in the English language biomedical journal between 2000 and 2017. The protocol adheres to the standards recommended by the PRISMA-P. DISCUSSION:The results of this systematic review can present a more accurate definition of loneliness for researchers who aim at conducting new primary and secondary studies on this subject. SYSTEMATIC REVIEW REGISTRATION:CRD42017058729.
Project description:Loneliness may be related to psychotic symptoms but a comprehensive synthesis of the literature in this area is lacking. The primary aim of the current study is to provide a systematic review and meta-analysis of the association between loneliness and psychotic symptoms in people with psychosis. A search of electronic databases was conducted (PsychINFO, MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Web of Science). A random effects meta-analysis was used to compute a pooled estimate of the correlation between loneliness and psychotic symptoms. Study and outcome quality were assessed using adapted versions of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) tool and GRADE approach, respectively. Thirteen studies were included, providing data from 15 647 participants. A moderate association between psychosis and loneliness was observed (k = 13, N = 15 647, r = .32, 95% CI 0.20, 0.44; I2 = 97.56%; moderate quality evidence). Whether loneliness was assessed by a single-item or a more comprehensive measure had no moderating effect on the estimate. Results indicate that there is a significant positive relationship between loneliness and psychosis. Further studies are needed to determine the causal status of this relationship, but this robust finding should be considered in clinical practice and treatment provision for those with psychotic disorders.
Project description:Despite the mounting evidence linking loneliness with health, the mechanisms underlying this relationship remain obscure. This systematic review and meta-analysis on the association between loneliness and one potential mechanism-sleep-identified 27 relevant articles. Loneliness correlated with self-reported sleep disturbance (r?=?.28, 95% confidence interval (.24, .33)) but not duration, across a diverse set of samples and measures. There was no evidence supporting age or gender as moderators or suggesting publication bias. The longitudinal relationship between loneliness and sleep remains unclear. Loneliness is related to sleep disturbance, but research is necessary to determine directionality, examine the influence of other factors, and speak to causality.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:Social isolation and loneliness affect approximately one-third to one-half of the elderly population and have a negative impact on their physical and mental health. Group-based interventions where facilitators are well trained and where the elderly are actively engaged in their development seem to be more effective, but conclusions have been limited by weak study designs. We aim to conduct a systematic review to assess the effectiveness of health promotion interventions on social isolation or loneliness in older people. METHODS AND ANALYSIS:A systematic review was conducted in Medline, Embase, PsycINFO, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, Applied Social Sciences Index and Abstracts, LILACS, OpenGrey and the Cochrane Library on peer-reviewed studies and doctoral theses published between 1995 and 2016 evaluating the impact of health promotion interventions on social isolation and/or loneliness for individuals aged 60 and over. Two reviewers will independently assess each study for inclusion and disagreements will be resolved by a third reviewer. Data will be extracted using a predefined pro forma following best practice. Study quality will be assessed with the Effective Public Health Practice Project quality assessment tool. A narrative synthesis of all studies will be presented by type of outcome (social isolation or loneliness) and type of intervention. If feasible, the effectiveness data will be synthesised using appropriate statistical techniques. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION:This systematic review is exempt from ethics approval because the work is carried out on published documents. The findings of the review will be disseminated in a related peer-reviewed journal and presented at conferences. They will also contribute to a DPhil thesis. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER:CRD42016039650.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Loneliness and social isolation are growing public health concerns in our ageing society. Whilst these experiences occur across the life span, 50% of individuals aged over 60 are at risk of social isolation and one-third will experience some degree of loneliness later in life. The aim of this scoping review was to describe the range of interventions to reduce loneliness and social isolation among older adults that have been evaluated; in terms of intervention conceptualisation, categorisation, and components. METHODS:Three electronic databases (CINAHL, Embase and Medline) were systematically searched for relevant published reviews of interventions for loneliness and social isolation. Inclusion criteria were: review of any type, published in English, a target population of older people and reported data on the categorisation of loneliness and/or social isolation interventions. Data extracted included: categories of interventions and the reasoning underpinning this categorisation. The methodology framework proposed by Arskey and O'Malley and further developed by Levac, et al. was used to guide the scoping review process. RESULTS:A total of 33 reviews met the inclusion criteria, evaluating a range of interventions targeted at older people residing in the community or institutionalised settings. Authors of reviews included in this paper often used the same terms to categorise different intervention components and many did not provide a clear definition of these terms. There were inconsistent meanings attributed to intervention characteristics. Overall, interventions were commonly categorised on the basis of: 1) group or one-to-one delivery mode, 2) the goal of the intervention, and 3) the intervention type. Several authors replicated the categorisation system used in previous reviews. CONCLUSION:Many interventions have been developed to combat loneliness and social isolation among older people. The individuality of the experience of loneliness and isolation may cause difficulty in the delivery of standardised interventions. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to addressing loneliness or social isolation, and hence the need to tailor interventions to suit the needs of individuals, specific groups or the degree of loneliness experienced. Therefore, future research should be aimed at discerning what intervention works for whom, in what particular context and how.
Project description:Loneliness has social and health implications. The aim of this article is to evaluate the association of loneliness with all-cause mortality.Pubmed, PsycINFO, CINAHL and Scopus databases were searched through June 2016 for published articles that measured loneliness and mortality. The main characteristics and the effect size values of each article were extracted. Moreover, an evaluation of the quality of the articles included was also carried out. A meta-analysis was performed firstly with all the included articles and secondly separating by gender, using a random effects model.A total of 35 articles involving 77220 participants were included in the systematic review. Loneliness is a risk factor for all-cause mortality [pooled HR = 1.22, 95% CI = (1.10, 1.35), p < 0.001] for both genders together, and for women [pooled HR = 1.26, 95% CI = (1.07, 1.48); p = 0.005] and men [pooled HR = 1.44; 95% CI = (1.19, 1.76); p < 0.001] separately.Loneliness shows a harmful effect for all-cause mortality and this effect is slightly stronger in men than in women. Moreover, the impact of loneliness was independent from the quality evaluation of each article and the effect of depression.
Project description:BACKGROUND:A growing number of studies suggest that social isolation and loneliness are associated with premature mortality and are more prevalent among people with mental illness than in the general population, outlining many potential paths to disease still to be elucidated. The purpose of this meta-analysis is to examine the relationship between loneliness, social isolation, and established cardiovascular/metabolic risk factors and disorders, especially in severe mental illness, and to account for potential heterogeneity in the literature. METHODS/DESIGN:Studies that report measures of loneliness and/or social isolation along with cardiovascular/metabolic risk factors will be identified. PubMed, EMBASE (through Ovid SP), Scopus, and PsycINFO (through Ovid SP) will be searched, along with citation lists of retrieved articles and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. Grey literature will be searched using Google Scholar. Data will be extracted from eligible studies for a random effects meta-analysis. For each study, a summary effect size, heterogeneity, risk of bias, publication bias, and the effect of categorical and continuous moderator variables will be determined. DISCUSSION:This proposed systematic review and meta-analysis will identify and synthesise evidence to determine if there is an association between loneliness, social isolation, and cardiovascular/metabolic risk factors, with a special focus on severe mental illnesses. The results will help determine links and promising avenues of further research. SYSTEMATIC REVIEW REGISTRATION:PROSPERO CRD42018111911.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>The adverse effects of loneliness and of poor perceived social support on physical health and mortality are established, but no systematic synthesis is available of their relationship with the outcomes of mental health problems over time. In this systematic review, we aim to examine the evidence on whether loneliness and closely related concepts predict poor outcomes among adults with mental health problems.<h4>Methods</h4>We searched six databases and reference lists for longitudinal quantitative studies that examined the relationship between baseline measures of loneliness and poor perceived social support and outcomes at follow up. Thirty-four eligible papers were retrieved. Due to heterogeneity among included studies in clinical populations, predictor measures and outcomes, a narrative synthesis was conducted.<h4>Results</h4>We found substantial evidence from prospective studies that people with depression who perceive their social support as poorer have worse outcomes in terms of symptoms, recovery and social functioning. Loneliness has been investigated much less than perceived social support, but there is some evidence that greater loneliness predicts poorer depression outcome. There is also some preliminary evidence of associations between perceived social support and outcomes in schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and anxiety disorders.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Loneliness and quality of social support in depression are potential targets for development and testing of interventions, while for other conditions further evidence is needed regarding relationships with outcomes.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The health impacts of loneliness and social isolation among older adults are widely acknowledged. Despite this, there is no consensus on the possible causal nature of this relationship, which could undermine effectiveness of interventions. One body of thought is that loneliness and social isolation affect health-related behaviours to indirectly damage health. However, there has not been any systematic assessment of the association between loneliness and social isolation and health-related behaviours which considers the possible impact from confounding factors and the causal direction of this association. METHODS/DESIGN:The research will comprise a systematic review and meta-analysis to address the evidence gap. EMBASE, MEDLINE, PSYCINFO, CINAHL, SocIndex, Scopus and Web of Science will be systematically searched for quantitative observational studies considering an association between loneliness/social isolation and key health-related behaviours in older adults. Two reviewers will independently check the study titles and abstracts for eligibility. Included studies will be critically appraised using Newcastle-Ottawa Scale by the lead author and checked by the second reviewer. Discrepancies in eligibility or quality assessment will be resolved via discussion or referral to a third reviewer. Results will be synthesised and reported in accordance with the Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (CRD) guidelines. This will be in the form of a descriptive summary, risk of bias assessment together with a meta-analysis and sub-group analyses (for covariate adjusted results) where sufficient heterogeneity of results is established. Finally, any associations identified will be analysed using the Bradford-Hill criteria to explore causal relationships which, if they exist, will be reported by means of a computed causations score. DISCUSSION:This review aims to assess the extent and causal nature of associations between loneliness/social isolation and health-related behaviours among older adults. This data will provide a comprehensive overview of the quality of the evidence base to inform stakeholders in tackling the growing public health challenges arising from loneliness/social isolation in ageing populations. SYSTEMATIC REVIEW REGISTRATION:PROSPERO CRD42017020845.
Project description:The focus in this paper is on the social domain of quality of life, and more particularly loneliness. The empirical literature on older adult loneliness is reviewed, thereby challenging three often-held assumptions that figure prominently in public debates on loneliness. The first assumption that loneliness is a problem specifically for older people finds only partial support. Loneliness is common only among the very old. The second assumption is that people in individualistic societies are most lonely. Contrary to this belief, findings show that older adults in northern European countries tend to be less lonely than those in the more familialistic southern European countries. The scarce data on Central and Eastern Europe suggest a high prevalence of older adult loneliness in those countries. The third assumption that loneliness has increased over the past decades finds no support. Loneliness levels have decreased, albeit slightly. The review notes the persistence of ageist attitudes, and underscores the importance of considering people's frame of reference and normative orientation in analyses of loneliness.
Project description:Ample evidence indicates that loneliness in old age is associated with poor bodily and mental health. However, little is known about structural cerebral correlates of loneliness in healthy older adults. We examined such correlates in a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) subsample of 319 older adults aged 61 to 82 years drawn from the Berlin Aging Study II. Using voxel-based morphometry (VBM) and structural equation modeling (SEM), latent hierarchical regression analyses were performed to examine associations of (i) loneliness, (ii) a range of covariates, and (iii) loneliness by covariate interactions with latent brain volume estimates of brain structures known to be involved in processing, expressing, and regulating emotions. Results from whole-brain VBM analyses showed that individuals with higher loneliness scores tended to have smaller gray matter volumes in three clusters comprising (i) the left amygdala/anterior hippocampus, (ii) the left posterior parahippocampus and (iii) the left cerebellum. Significant associations and interactions between loneliness and latent factors for the amygdala and the hippocampus were confirmed with a region-of-interest (ROI)-based approach. These findings suggest that individual differences in loneliness among older adults are correlated with individual differences in the volumes of brain regions that are central to cognitive processing and emotional regulation, also after correcting for confounders such as social network size. We discuss possible mechanisms underlying these associations and their implications.