Author(s): Holmn K, Ericsson K, Winblad B
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Abstract Cognitively impaired and intact elderly subjects from a longitudinal project were interviewed in a follow-up study about their present state of mood and how often they experienced loneliness. In all, 315 subjects were involved in the study. The dropout rate was high, about 50\%, due to death and to the fact that some elderly persons--especially those with slightly impaired cognitive function--declined to participate. The present state of mood was measured by the Geriatric Depression Scale and loneliness was assessed by the question, 'Do you experience loneliness often, sometimes, seldom or never?' Most subjects (4 out of 5), above all those who were cognitively intact, reported basic satisfaction with their lives. The greatest difference in response between the two cognitive groups was found in the question about having an empty life. Loneliness and sad mood prevailed especially among subjects with cognitive difficulties. In summary, experiencing loneliness had a negative influence on the state of mood in both cognitive groups, particularly among persons with cognitive impairment.
This article was published in Scand J Caring Sci
and referenced in Journal of Gerontology & Geriatric Research