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Open AccessArticle

The Association between Loneliness and Health Related Quality of Life (HR-QoL) among Community-Dwelling Older Citizens

1
Department of Public Health, Erasmus MC University Medical Center, P.O. Box 2040, 3000 CA Rotterdam, The Netherlands
2
Research Centre Innovation in Care, Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences, P.O. Box 25035, 3001 HA Rotterdam, The Netherlands
3
Polibienestar Research Institute, University of Valencia, Carrer del Serpis, 29, 46022 Valencia, Spain
4
Alliance for Integrated Care, Amfitritis 14, Palaio Faliro, 175 61 Athens, Greece
5
Division of Population Health, Health Services Research and Primary Care, University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PT, UK
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Department of Social Medicine and Epidemiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Rijeka, Trg braće Mažuranića 10, 51000 Rijeka, Croatia
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Zorg Op Noord, Cypresbaan 7, 2908 LT Capelle aan den IJssel, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Joint second author.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(2), 600; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17020600
Received: 12 December 2019 / Revised: 6 January 2020 / Accepted: 15 January 2020 / Published: 17 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Active/Healthy Ageing and Quality of Life)
Background: This study aimed to assess the association between loneliness and Health-Related Quality of Life (HR-QoL) among community-dwelling older citizens in five European countries. We characterize loneliness broadly from an emotional and social perspective. Methods: This cross-sectional study measured loneliness with the 6-item De Jong Gierveld Loneliness Scale and HR-QoL with the 12-Item Short-Form Health Survey. The association between loneliness and HR-QoL was examined using multivariable linear regression models. Results: Data of 2169 citizens of at least 70 years of age and living independently (mean age = 79.6 ± 5.6; 61% females) were analyzed. Among the participants, 1007 (46%) were lonely; 627 (29%) were emotionally and 575 (27%) socially lonely. Participants who were lonely experienced a lower HR-QoL than participants who were not lonely (p ≤ 0.001). Emotional loneliness [std-β: −1.39; 95%-CI: −1.88 to −0.91] and social loneliness [−0.95; −1.44 to −0.45] were both associated with a lower physical HR-QoL. Emotional loneliness [−3.73; −4.16 to −3.31] and social loneliness [−1.84; −2.27 to −1.41] were also both associated with a lower mental HR-QoL. Conclusions: We found a negative association between loneliness and HR-QoL, especially between emotional loneliness and mental HR-QoL. This finding indicates that older citizens who miss an intimate or intense emotional relationship and interventions targeting mental HR-QoL deserve more attention in policy and practice than in the past. View Full-Text
Keywords: community-dwelling older citizens; emotional loneliness; health related quality of life; loneliness; social loneliness community-dwelling older citizens; emotional loneliness; health related quality of life; loneliness; social loneliness
MDPI and ACS Style

Tan, S.S.; Fierloos, I.N.; Zhang, X.; Koppelaar, E.; Alhambra-Borras, T.; Rentoumis, T.; Williams, G.; Rukavina, T.; van Staveren, R.; Garces-Ferrer, J.; Franse, C.B.; Raat, H. The Association between Loneliness and Health Related Quality of Life (HR-QoL) among Community-Dwelling Older Citizens. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 600.

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