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A phenomenological exploration of loneliness in the older adult

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      Abstract

      Loneliness is an important phenomenon of concern for psychiatric mental health nursing. Research findings have related loneliness in older adults to mental health problems especially depression. However, little is known about loneliness from the perspective of older adults living in the community. A phenomenological inquiry using Giorgi's research methodology was undertaken to explore and describe the meaning of loneliness for older adults. Twenty participants, most who are over the age of 75, were interviewed and 1385 naı̈ve meaning units were extrapolated from tape-recorded verbatim transcripts. These units were clustered into five major themes describing the loneliness experience. The findings are described and discussed relative to the literature on loneliness. Implications for mental health nursing are presented.
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