The protective effect of social engagement on mortality in long-term care

TitleThe protective effect of social engagement on mortality in long-term care
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2000
AuthorsKiely D.K, Simon S.E, Jones R.N, Morris J.N
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Volume48
Issue11
Pagination1367-72
Date PublishedNov
Accession Number11083310
Keywords*Homes for the Aged, *Mortality, *Socialization, *Survival Analysis, Activities of Daily Living, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Female, Geriatric Assessment, Human, Life Tables, Long-Term Care, Male, Proportional Hazards Models, Retrospective Studies, Risk Factors, Sex Distribution, Support, Non-U.S. Gov't, Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
Abstract

OBJECTIVES: To examine the effect of social engagement (SE) on mortality in long-term care. DESIGN: A retrospective cohort study. SETTING: A 725-bed long-term care facility. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 927 long-term care residents who had SE measurements and did not have a serious communication problem. MEASUREMENTS: Minimum Data Set information including psychosocial items comprising an internally reliable and valid SE scale, and mortality risk factor measurements. Mortality data during the 1,721-day follow-up period was obtained from facility records. RESULTS: Life table analyses indicate that higher levels of SE are associated with longer survival (P = .0001). Unadjusted proportional hazards analyses show that residents who did not engage socially were 2.3 times more likely to die during the follow-up period compared with residents who were the most socially engaged. Multivariate adjusted analyses showed the protective effect of SE on mortality remained even after simultaneously adjusting for mortality risk factors. Residents who did not engage socially were 1.4 times as likely to die during the follow-up period compared with residents who were the most socially engaged. CONCLUSIONS: Increased levels of SE were associated with longer survival independent of mortality risk factors. SE may be a modifiable risk factor for death among long-term care residents. More research is needed to understand psychological factors that may influence residents' desire and ability to engage socially.

Alternate JournalJ Am Geriatr Soc