|Title||Lonely older adults are more likely to delay or avoid medical care during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2022|
|Authors||Li, Y, Cheng, Z, Cai, X, Holloway, M, Maeng, D, Simning, A|
|Journal||International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry|
|Keywords||Aged, COVID-19, Humans, Independent Living, Loneliness, Pandemics, SARS-CoV-2|
OBJECTIVES: To examine the relationship between loneliness and self-reported delay or avoidance of medical care among community-dwelling older adults during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
METHODS: Analyses of data from a nationally representative survey administered in June of 2020, in COVID-19 module of the Health and Retirement Study. Bivariate and multivariable analyses determined associations of loneliness with the likelihood of, reasons for, and types of care delay or avoidance.
RESULTS: The rate of care delay or avoidance since March of 2020 was 29.1% among all respondents (n = 1997), and 10.1% higher for lonely (n = 1,150%, 57.6%) versus non-lonely respondents (33.5% vs. 23.4%; odds ratio = 1.59, p = 0.003 after covariate adjustment). The differences were considerably larger among several subgroups such as those with emotional/psychiatric problems. Lonely older adults were more likely to cite "Decided it could wait," "Was afraid to go," and "Couldn't afford it" as reasons for delayed or avoided care. Both groups reported dental care and doctor's visit as the two most common care delayed or avoided.
CONCLUSIONS: Loneliness is associated with a higher likelihood of delaying or avoiding medical care among older adults during the pandemic.
|PubMed Central ID||PMC8884256|
|Grant List||R01 AG069733 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States |
R01AG069733 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States