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Med J Tabriz Uni Med Sciences. 2023;45(5): 389-401.
doi: 10.34172/mj.2023.041
  Abstract View: 384
  PDF Download: 229

Geriatrics and Gerontology

Systematic Review

Feeling Lonely among the Elderly in Iran: a Systematic Review

Vali Bahrevar 1,2 ORCID logo, Yadollah Abolfathi Momtaz 3* ORCID logo, Saeed Hosseini 4,5 ORCID logo

1 PhD Student in Gerontology, Department of Aging Health, Faculty of Public Health, Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences, Yazd, Iran
2 PhD Student in Gerontology, Department of Aging, University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences, Tehran, Iran
3 Iranian Research Center on Aging, University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences, Tehran, Iran
4 Center for Healthcare Data Modeling, Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Faculty of Public Health, Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences, Yazd, Iran
5 Department of Epidemiology, Faculty of Public Health, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
*Corresponding Author: Email: yabolfathi@gmail.com

Abstract

Background. Feeling loneliness is a prevalent phenomenon, affecting 25-50% of the population over 65 years old. The present study aimed to investigate feeling lonely in the elderly in Iran.

Methods. This review study was conducted by searching the keywords elderly, loneliness, isolation, elderly, old age, older people, and feeling loneliness. We retrieved all published cross-sectional articles in Persian and English languages from 2006 to 2021. Evaluation of the quality of the studies and data extraction was done by reading the full texts of the selected articles, using the STROBE Checklists for cross-sectional studies. Articles that had the required quality were included in the study.

Results. In this research, 128 articles were found in the initial review. A total of 26 articles were included in the study after preliminary reviews. According to the studies, the average score of loneliness in the elderly was high. Also, due to the lack of social relations, the average score of loneliness in the elderly staying in nursing homes and far from their families was higher than the elderly living in the family. Conclusion. The average loneliness score among the elderly, especially those living in nursing homes, was relatively high. Creating the necessary conditions to maintain social relationships among the elderly can reduce their level of loneliness and prevent the adverse consequences of loneliness in them.

Practical Implications. Considering the importance of improving the mental health of the elderly, it is recommended to strengthen the counseling of the elderly, reduce treatment costs, and also involve the elderly in daily activities and talk with a group of friends to reduce their loneliness. The results of this research can be used to improve the level of awareness of policymakers, people, and families and increase the mental health of the elderly.


How to cite this article: Bahrevar V, Abolfathi Momtaz Y, Hosseini S. Feeling Lonely among the Elderly in Iran: A Systematic Review. Med J Tabriz Uni Med Sciences. 2023;45(5): doi: 10.34172/mj.2023.041 Persian.
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Submitted: 15 Feb 2023
Accepted: 17 Apr 2023
ePublished: 17 Oct 2023
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