A Study of Loneliness in Hospitalized Older Persons with Chronic Illnesses in Tertiary Care Hospital, Bangkok Metropolis

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Nussara Ninseang
Siriphan Sasat

Abstract

        This survey research aimed to study loneliness among hospitalized older persons with chronic illnesses in tertiary care hospital, Bangkok Metropolis, and to compare loneliness when they are classified by age, sex, personality, length of stay, rate of visitors per day, activities of daily living, self-esteem and social support. Participants consisted of 400 hospitalized older persons with chronic illnesses in inpatient department in tertiary public hospitals, Bangkok Metropolis, and were selected by using multi-stage sampling. Research instruments were Barthel ADL Index, Maudsley Personality Inventory (MPI), self-esteem, social support, and the Schedule for the Measurement of Loneliness and Cathectic Investment (SMLC) which were tested for content validity and reliability and the Cronbach’s alpha coefficients were 0.83, 0.92, 0.85, 0.81, and 0.86 respectively. Data were analyzed by using descriptive statistics, independent t-test and ANOVA. The findings were as follows:
            1. 60.5% of the elderly with chronic illnesses admitted to tertiary care hospital in Bangkok Metropolis had a low level of loneliness and only 10% had a high level of loneliness.


  1. The late elderly (aged 80 years and over) were lonelier than the other age group. Female elderly were lonelier than males. Those who had a period of 11 - 20 days length of stay, relatives who visited 3 times a day, low level of daily activities, high level of self-esteem and social support were had loneliness.
    The research results can be applied to the nursing care plan for loneliness prevention in hospitalized older persons with chronic illnesses, particularly in the late elderly, females, had a period of 11 - 20 days length of stay, and had a low level of activities of daily living. Capacity building on knowledge and skills about loneliness in older persons should be applied to nursing staff in order to provide physical and mental care and will lead to holistic care. These findings can be used as a basic information for further studies on loneliness in hospitalized older persons and related research.

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References

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