Older people who report loneliness have increased risk of mortality and functional decline
- Morgantown Department, School of Nursing, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia, USA
- Correspondence to: Dr Laurie Ann Theeke
School of Nursing, West Virginia University, Morgantown Department, PO Box 9620, HSC-South, Morgantown, WV 26506-9620, USA;
Commentary on: Perissinotto CM, Stijacic Cenzer I, Covinsky KE. Loneliness in older persons: a predictor of functional decline and death. Arch Intern Med 2012;172:1078–84.
Implications for practice and research
National screening recommendations are needed for loneliness.
Assessments for loneliness should be a component of primary care for older adults.
Interventions focused on the poorly adapted cognitive processes associated with loneliness warrant further study.
Prevalence rates of loneliness have been reported to be as high as 17% in samples of older adults in the USA.1 Historically, scientists viewed loneliness as a social phenomenon. Recently, loneliness has been reconceptualised as a biopsychosocial stressor that contributes to poor health. Loneliness reflects a person's …