University of Oulu

Ollanketo, M., Korpelainen, R., Jämsä, T. J., Kangas, M., Koivumaa-Honkanen, H., Immonen, M. S., … Elo, S. (2018). Perceived loneliness among home-dwelling older adults with and without memory disorder: A population-based study. Nordic Journal of Nursing Research, 39(2), 76–84.

Perceived loneliness among home-dwelling older adults with and without memory disorder : a population-based study

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Author: Ollanketo, Minnaleena1; Korpelainen, Raija2,3,4; Jämsä, Timo J.2,5,6;
Organizations: 1Research Unit of Nursing Science and Health Management, University of Oulu, Finland
2Medical Research Center Oulu (MRC), Oulu University Hospital and University of Oulu, Finland
3Center for Life Course Health Research, University of Oulu, Finland
4Department of Sports and Exercise Medicine, Oulu Deaconess Institute, Oulu, Finland
5Research Unit of Medical Imaging, Physics and Technology, University of Oulu, Finland
6Diagnostic Radiology, Oulu University Hospital, Finland
7Institute of Clinical Medicine/Psychiatry, University of Eastern Finland, Finland
8Departments of Psychiatry: Kuopio University Hospital, Kuopio; South-Savonia Hospital District, Mikkeli; North Karelia Central Hospital, Joensuu; SOTE, Iisalmi; Lapland Hospital District, Rovaniemi, Finland
9Smart Health, Knowledge Intensive Products and Services, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd, Finland
10Information Studies, University of Oulu, Finland
11Information Studies, Åbo Akademi University, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.2 MB)
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Language: English
Published: SAGE Publications, 2019
Publish Date: 2019-09-24


The aim of this population-based cross-sectional study was to describe and compare the prevalence and features of perceived loneliness among home-dwelling older adults with (n = 129) and without (n = 244) memory disorder. The latter group was randomly resampled from 789 respondents stratified by age to obtain a standardized control group. Loneliness was assessed using the six-item De Jong Gierveld Loneliness Scale, and perceived stress using Cohen, Kamarck and Mermelstein’s 10-item Perceived Stress Scale. Results show that severe loneliness was common among the home-dwelling older adults, especially those with memory disorder, who also perceived stress more frequently than those without memory disorder. Both groups, but again more frequently those with memory disorder, were more likely to be emotionally than socially lonely. Thus, when planning social and healthcare services and interventions to mitigate loneliness among older adults living at home, memory problems and emotional loneliness require particular consideration.

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Series: Nordic journal of nursing research
ISSN: 2057-1585
ISSN-E: 2057-1593
ISSN-L: 2057-1585
Volume: 39
Issue: 2
Pages: 76 - 84
DOI: 10.1177/205715851880026
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3142 Public health care science, environmental and occupational health
316 Nursing
520 Other social sciences
Funding: This study was performed as part of the GASEL project, funded by the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation (Grant No. 40270/13), and the Sense of Security at Home (TuTunKo) research project, funded by Tekes – the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation (Grant No. 2864/31/2015).
Copyright information: © 2019 SAGE Publishing. The Version of Record can be found online at: