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Revista Clínica de Medicina de Familia

versión On-line ISSN 2386-8201versión impresa ISSN 1699-695X


HERNANDEZ GOMEZ, Mercedes Adelaida et al. Loneliness and ageing. Rev Clin Med Fam [online]. 2021, vol.14, n.3, pp.146-153.  Epub 29-Nov-2021. ISSN 2386-8201.


the aim of this research is to ascertain the prevalence of loneliness and social isolation in people aged over 65 in Ourense and its associated factors.


descriptive cross-sectional study, random sample of people aged over 65 interviewed between June 2010 and June 2011. Sample size was 486 patients (estimated loneliness 35%). The OARS (Olders American Resource and Services Multidimensional Functional Assessment Questionnaire) scale was administrated. This includes sociodemo-graphic variables, socio-economic resources, physical and mental health and the ability to undergo BADL and IADL. The question “are you alone?” with four possible answers was also posed.


a total of 572 people were interviewed, aged on average 79 years old (SD: 6.79). Loneliness 32.7%; living alone 17.0%; no weekly contacts 18.9%; social isolation (living alone + no contacts) 1.4%. Feelings of loneliness were associated with sex (women), low pension and educational level, depression, cognitive impairment, vision loss, dependence for BADL, psychopharmacological treatment in the previous six months and the need for home improvements. Regular physical exercise was a protective factor.


loneliness in our population is similar to the one reported in other areas. It is associated with sex inequalities, social and demographic factors, depression and cognitive impairment. Primary care professionals need to identify and tackle loneliness.

Palabras clave : elderly population; loneliness; health promotion; social health determinants; social isolation.

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