Article

Loneliness, Wellbeing, and Social Activity in Scottish Older Adults Resulting from Social Distancing during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Details

Citation

Tomaz SA, Coffee P, Ryde GC, Swales B, Neely KC, Connelly J, Kirkland A, McCabe L, Watchman K, Andreis F, Martin JG, Pina I & Whittaker AC (2021) Loneliness, Wellbeing, and Social Activity in Scottish Older Adults Resulting from Social Distancing during the COVID-19 Pandemic. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18 (9), Art. No.: 4517. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18094517

Abstract
This study examined the impact of social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic on loneliness, wellbeing, and social activity, including social support, in Scottish older adults. A mixed methods online survey was used to examine these factors during social distancing mid-lockdown, July 2020. Participants were asked to state whether loneliness, wellbeing, social activity, and social support had changed since pre-social distancing, and to provide details of strategies used to keep socially active. A total of 1429 adults (84% aged 60+ years) living in Scotland took part. The majority reported that social distancing regulations made them experience more loneliness and less social contact and support. Loneliness during lockdown was higher than reported norms for this age group before the pandemic. A larger social network, more social contact, and better perceived social support seemed to be protective against loneliness and poor wellbeing. Positive coping strategies reported included increasing online social contact with both existing social networks and reconnecting with previous networks, as well as increasing contact with neighbours and people in the community. This underlines the importance of addressing loneliness and social support in older adults but particularly during situations where risk of isolation is high.

Keywords
loneliness; social support; social isolation; social network; wellbeing

Journal
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health: Volume 18, Issue 9

StatusPublished
FundersCSO Chief Scientist Office
Publication date31/05/2021
Publication date online24/04/2021
Date accepted by journal21/04/2021
URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1893/32572
PublisherMDPI AG
eISSN1660-4601

People (9)

People

Dr Jenni Connelly
Dr Jenni Connelly

Lecturer, Sport

Dr Andrew Kirkland
Dr Andrew Kirkland

Lecturer, Sport

Mr Jack Martin
Mr Jack Martin

Research Fellow, Institute for Social Marketing

Professor Louise McCabe
Professor Louise McCabe

Professor, Dementia and Ageing

Dr Kacey Neely
Dr Kacey Neely

Lecturer, Sport

Ms Bridgitte Swales
Ms Bridgitte Swales

Lecturer in Physical Activity and Health, Sport

Dr Simone Tomaz
Dr Simone Tomaz

Post Doctoral Research Fellow, Sport

Professor Karen Watchman
Professor Karen Watchman

Professor, Health Sciences Stirling

Professor Anna Whittaker
Professor Anna Whittaker

Professor of Behavioural Medicine, Sport

Projects (1)