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A. Barusch, D.L. Waters

J Frailty Aging 2012;1(4):189-194

Background: Social isolation is a significant problem for frail older adults and the determinants of social engagement are poorly understood. Objectives: This study explored the social engagement of frail elders to identify personal attributes associated with social engagement. Design, Setting and Participants: A cross-sectional sample of seventy-three people receiving home-based care in one town on the South Island of New Zealand (mean age 82 (7.2) yrs, n=51 Females, 21 Males). Measurements: Face-to-face semi-structured interviews and questionnaires. Functional independence was measured using Nottingham Extended Activities of Daily Living (EADL), self-efficacy by General Self Efficacy Scale, and 2 open-ended questions were piloted on social activities and helping others. Results: Regression models identified two statistically associated components of social engagement: social activities and civic involvement. Contributions to families and community organizations and exercise were important social activities. Personal attributes included perceived functional independence and self-efficacy. Conclusions: In frail older adults, a measurement of social engagement should address activities older adults identify as important, including exercise. Independence, self -efficacy, and social engagement may interact in reinforcing cycles of empowerment and could play a role in developing interventions to retain and maintain function in frail older adults.

A. Barusch ; D.L. Waters (2012): Social Engagement of Frail Elders . The Journal of Frailty and Aging (JFA). http://dx.doi.org/10.14283/jfa.2012.29

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