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Depression And Loneliness/Social Isolation Among Patients With Cognitive Impairment In Nursing Home

Azlina Wati Nikmat, Nurul Azreen Hashim, Siti Aminah Omar, Salmi Razali


Objective: The evaluation of mental health among older adults has become increasingly important in health and social science. Although this has been studied in developed countries, there are also issues for emerging countries, which have aging populations. The aims of this study were to determine the prevalence of loneliness/social isolation and late-life depression among older adults with cognitive impairment living in institutional care. 

Methods: A cross sectional survey involving residents of four government nursing homes in West Malaysia was carried out. All residents aged 60 years old and above with cognitive impairment were included in the study. Participants were assessed by the Short Mini Mental State Examination (SMMSE), Friendship Scale (FS) and Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS). 

Results: The prevalence of depression and loneliness/social isolation were 85.5% and 95.5% respectively. Depression was strongly associated with age, education attainment, financial conditions, health, cognitive impairment and loneliness/social isolation. Loneliness/social isolation was strongly associated to depression and relationship satisfaction with children.

Conclusion: There was high prevalence of depression and loneliness/social isolation among older adults with cognitive impairment living in institutional care. Depression and loneliness/social isolation are interrelated and influence each other and these problems need to be addressed to improve their quality of life.

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cognitive impairment; nursing home; depression; social isolation

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