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Predictors of Loneliness in U.S. Adults Over Age Sixty-Five

  • Laurie A. Theeke
    Correspondence
    Corresponding Author: Laurie A. Theeke, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Health Restoration, School of Nursing, West Virginia University, 6411 Health Sciences South, Morgantown, WV 26505.
    Affiliations
    Department of Health Restoration, West Virginia University School of Nursing, Morgantown, WV.
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Published:January 16, 2009DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apnu.2008.11.002
      The purpose of this study was to examine sociodemographic and health-related risks for loneliness among older adults using Health and Retirement Study Data. Overall prevalence of loneliness was 19.3%. Marital status, self-report of health, number of chronic illnesses, gross motor impairment, fine motor impairment, and living alone were predictors of loneliness. Age, female gender, use of home care, and frequency of healthcare visits were not predictive. Loneliness is a prevalent problem for older adults in the United States with its own health-related risks. Future research of interventions targeting identified risks would enhance the evidence base for nursing and the problem of loneliness.
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