J. Med. Internet Res. - Impact of internet use on loneliness and contact with others among older adults: cross-sectional analysis.

Tópicos

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Resumo

CKGROUND: Older adults are at increased risk of experiencing loneliness and depression, particularly as they move into different types of care communities. Information and communication technology (ICT) usage may help older adults to maintain contact with social ties. However, prior research is not consistent about whether ICT use increases or decreases isolation and loneliness among older adults.OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to examine how Internet use affects perceived social isolation and loneliness of older adults in assisted and independent living communities. We also examined the perceptions of how Internet use affects communication and social interaction.METHODS: One wave of data from an ongoing study of ICT usage among older adults in assisted and independent living communities in Alabama was used. Regression analysis was used to determine the relationship between frequency of going online and isolation and loneliness (n=205) and perceptions of the effects of Internet use on communication and social interaction (n=60).RESULTS: After controlling for the number of friends and family, physical/emotional social limitations, age, and study arm, a 1-point increase in the frequency of going online was associated with a 0.147-point decrease in loneliness scores (P=.005). Going online was not associated with perceived social isolation (P=.14). Among the measures of perception of the social effects of the Internet, each 1-point increase in the frequency of going online was associated with an increase in agreement that using the Internet had: (1) made it easier to reach people (b=0.508, P<.001), (2) contributed to the ability to stay in touch (b=0.516, P<.001), (3) made it easier to meet new people (b=0.297, P=.01, (4) increased the quantity of communication with others (b=0.306, P=.01), (5) made the respondent feel less isolated (b=0.491, P<.001), (6) helped the respondent feel more connected to friends and family (b=0.392, P=.001), and (7) increased the quality of communication with others (b=0.289, P=.01).CONCLUSIONS: Using the Internet may be beneficial for decreasing loneliness and increasing social contact among older adults in assisted and independent living communities.

Resumo Limpo

ckground older adult increas risk experienc loneli depress particular move differ type care communiti inform communic technolog ict usag may help older adult maintain contact social tie howev prior research consist whether ict use increas decreas isol loneli among older adultsobject purpos studi examin internet use affect perceiv social isol loneli older adult assist independ live communiti also examin percept internet use affect communic social interactionmethod one wave data ongo studi ict usag among older adult assist independ live communiti alabama use regress analysi use determin relationship frequenc go onlin isol loneli n percept effect internet use communic social interact nresult control number friend famili physicalemot social limit age studi arm point increas frequenc go onlin associ point decreas loneli score p go onlin associ perceiv social isol p among measur percept social effect internet point increas frequenc go onlin associ increas agreement use internet made easier reach peopl b p contribut abil stay touch b p made easier meet new peopl b p increas quantiti communic other b p made respond feel less isol b p help respond feel connect friend famili b p increas qualiti communic other b pconclus use internet may benefici decreas loneli increas social contact among older adult assist independ live communiti

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