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Changes in social interaction over 20 years and the effects of community resources use among community-dwelling elderly persons

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  • 地域在住高齢者の社会関連性の20年間推移とコミュニティリソースの影響
  • チイキ ザイジュウ コウレイシャ ノ シャカイ カンレンセイ ノ 20ネンカン スイイ ト コミュニティリソース ノ エイキョウ

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<p>Objectives Recently, social isolation has been reported to be a critical problem among Japanese elderly persons. However, few studies have compared social interaction in the past and the present or investigated its predictive factors. This study aimed to clarify the transitional changes in social interaction over 20 years and explore the factors related to social interaction focusing on the use of community resources.</p><p>Methods The participants were community-dwelling elderly persons aged 65 years and over. A survey was conducted 8 times from 1994 to 2014 in the suburban area of Tobishima, Japan. The Index of Social Interaction Scale was used and each subscale and the total score were calculated. Subsequently, the 2014 scores were compared with the 1994 scores using the Wilcoxon rank sum test. Logistic regression analysis was conducted to clarify the factors related to social interaction, focusing on the association between the use of community resources (local elderly management center, health care center, health promotion facility, library) in 2011 and social interaction 3 years later. Age, gender, disease, and mobility were also entered into the model as control variables.</p><p>Results Comparing social interaction in 1994 and 2014, total scores were found to have significantly increased in all age groups. Independence scores significantly increased in the overall group and in females aged 75-84. Curiosity scores also increased in both males and females. These results show that social interaction has increased over 2 decades. In addition, the use of local elderly management and health care centers, and health promotion facilities was associated with total social interaction scores 3 years later.</p><p>Conclusion The current study clarified changes in social interaction, both comprehensively and for each of its aspects, among community-dwelling elderly adults. Increasing social isolation has been reported in recent years; however, the current study showed that social interaction, including social curiosity and independence, has increased over 20 years. The effect of preventive intervention in local elderly management centers, health care centers, and health promotion facilities may be one of the causes for this increase.</p>


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