BACKGROUND: We investigated relationships of broader self-management abilities (self-efficacy, positive frame of mind, investment behavior, taking initiatives, multifunctionality of resources, variety of resources) to social and emotional loneliness among community-dwelling older people while controlling for background characteristics. METHODS: This cross-sectional study employed a representative sample of 41,327 community-dwelling people aged ≥55 years in Limburg, the Netherlands, identified using the population register (weighted per district, complex sampling design). In total, 20,327 (50%) people responded to the questionnaire. RESULTS: All self-management abilities were associated negatively with emotional loneliness. Taking initiatives, multifunctionality, self-efficacy, and a positive frame of mind were associated negatively with social loneliness. Self-efficacy had the strongest relationships with social and emotional loneliness. CONCLUSIONS: In combatting loneliness among older people, investment in their ability to self-manage their social lives and activities, such as increasing opportunities for positive social interaction and social support and reducing maladaptive cognition, seems to be crucial.

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BMC Geriatrics
Erasmus University Rotterdam

Nieboer, A.P, Hajema, K. (KlaasJan), & Cramm, J.M. (2020). Relationships of self-management abilities to loneliness among older people: a cross-sectional study. BMC Geriatrics, 20(1). doi:10.1186/s12877-020-01584-x