Turkish Journal of Geriatrics 2022 , Vol 25, Issue 4
Özge ÜSTÜNDAĞ3, Hüseyin ELBİ1, Erol OZAN2, Fatih ÖZCAN1
1Manisa Celal Bayar University, School of Medicine, Department of Family Medicine, Manisa, Turkey
2Manisa Celal Bayar University, School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, Manisa, Turkey
3Provincial Health Directorate, Sındırgı No. 2 Family Health Center, Balıkesir, Turkey
DOI : 10.31086/tjgeri.2022.308 Introduction: The consequences of social isolation and loneliness on health and well-being in old age are increasingly being acknowledged. In this study, we examined how older patients perceive their social relationships and loneliness and explored family physicians" awareness of these issues.

Materials and Methods: This descriptive study evaluated social relations and the loneliness of older patients using the UCLA loneliness scale (UCLALS), the Nottingham Health Profile Social Isolation (NHP-SI) subscale, and a social relations questionnaire. The responses of these patients to loneliness and being socially active were compared with the reactions of family physicians to the same topics.

Results: Five family physicians and 200 older patients participated in this study. According to the patients" education levels and economic status, both scales exhibited significant differences. A significant correlation was found between chronic disease and UCLA loneliness on the scale, while a significant difference was found in the social isolation subscale according to those who lived with. Moreover, the family physicians clearly understood the relationship between living alone and their economic status.

Conclusion: This study revealed that the social isolation of older patients was affected by their education level, economic status, and who they lived with. It was also found that loneliness was affected by education level, financial situation, chronic disease, and disability. Keywords : Family Practice; Aged; Loneliness; Social Isolation