Family Caregiver's Loneliness and Related Health Factors: What Can Be Changed?

TitreFamily Caregiver's Loneliness and Related Health Factors: What Can Be Changed?
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsBonin-Guillaume S, Arlotto S, Blin A, Gentile S
JournalInt J Environ Res Public Health
Date Published2022 06 09
Mots-clésAged, Aged, 80 and over, Caregivers, Cross-Sectional Studies, Frailty, Humans, Loneliness, Sleep Wake Disorders

BACKGROUND: Loneliness is a public health issue that may affect the entire population. Loneliness is associated with depression, sleep disorders, fatigue, and increased risk of obesity and diabetes. Risk factors for loneliness include having a poor social network and poor physical and mental health. The main objective was to study factors related to loneliness of family caregivers caring for independent older people.METHODS: We performed a non-interventional observational cross-sectional study in south-eastern France. Family caregivers caring for people aged 70 and over and living at home were included. These older people were independent, without long-term conditions, and had applied for professional social assistance for daily living. Data were collected through a questionnaire, administered face-to-face or by telephone. Loneliness and perceived health status were measured through a single-question. Burden was assessed through the Mini-Zarit Scale, and frailty was measured through the Gerontopole Frailty Screening Tool.RESULTS: Of the 876 family caregivers included, 10% felt lonely often or always. They reported more physical and mental health issues than those who did not feel loneliness ( < 0.001). Family caregivers with loneliness were more likely to be looking after a parent and were twice as likely to have a moderate to severe burden (OR = 2.6). They were more likely to feel anxious (OR = 5.6), to have sleep disorders (OR = 2.4), to be frail (OR = 2), and to view the status of their health as poor or bad (OR = 2).CONCLUSIONS: Loneliness has a negative impact on health, causes frailty, and places a burden on family caregivers. Means must be implemented to anticipate the consequences of the loneliness felt by family caregivers, notably by orienting them towards the relevant services.

Alternate JournalInt J Environ Res Public Health
PubMed ID35742304
PubMed Central IDPMC9222605