Background: This study aimed to assess the association between loneliness and Health-Related Quality of Life (HR-QoL) among community-dwelling older citizens in five European countries. We characterize loneliness broadly from an emotional and social perspective. Methods: This cross-sectional study measured loneliness with the 6-item De Jong Gierveld Loneliness Scale and HR-QoL with the 12-Item Short-Form Health Survey. The association between loneliness and HR-QoL was examined using multivariable linear regression models. Results: Data of 2169 citizens of at least 70 years of age and living independently (mean age = 79.6 ± 5.6; 61% females) were analyzed. Among the participants, 1007 (46%) were lonely; 627 (29%) were emotionally and 575 (27%) socially lonely. Participants who were lonely experienced a lower HR-QoL than participants who were not lonely (p ≤ 0.001). Emotional loneliness [std-β: -1.39; 95%-CI: -1.88 to -0.91] and social loneliness [-0.95; -1.44 to -0.45] were both associated with a lower physical HR-QoL. Emotional loneliness [-3.73; -4.16 to -3.31] and social loneliness [-1.84; -2.27 to -1.41] were also both associated with a lower mental HR-QoL. Conclusions: We found a negative association between loneliness and HR-QoL, especially between emotional loneliness and mental HR-QoL. This finding indicates that older citizens who miss an intimate or intense emotional relationship and interventions targeting mental HR-QoL deserve more attention in policy and practice than in the past.

community-dwelling older citizens, emotional loneliness, health related quality of life, loneliness, social loneliness,
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Department of Public Health

Tan, S.S, Fierloos, I.N, Zhang, X, Koppelaar, E, Alhambra-Borras, T. (Tamara), Rentoumis, T. (Tasos), … Raat, H. (2020). The Association between Loneliness and Health Related Quality of Life (HR-QoL) among Community-Dwelling Older Citizens. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(2). doi:10.3390/ijerph17020600