Loneliness correlates and associations with health variables in the general population in Indonesia

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Background: Loneliness has been commonly reported in high-income countries, while less is known about loneliness in Association of the Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states, in particular in Indonesia. Objective: The aim of the study was to estimate the prevalence of loneliness, its correlates and associations with health variables in a national survey in the general population in Indonesia. Methods: In the Indonesia Family Life Survey (IFLS-5) in 2014-2015, 31,447 participants 15 years and older (median age 35.0 years, interquartile range = 22.0) were interviewed and examined in a national population-based cross-sectional study. The self-reported prevalence of loneliness, blood pressure, body height and weight, physical and mental health, health behaviour and psychosocial variables were measured. Multinomial logistic regression analyses were used to estimate determinants of loneliness and logistic and linear regression analyses were applied to estimate the associations of loneliness with physical, mental and health risk behaviour variables. Results: The self-reported prevalence of loneliness (occasionally or all of the time or 3-7 days per week) was 10.6% (11.0% for females and 10.1% for males), and 8.0% reported sometimes (1-2 days/week) to be lonely. Loneliness was distributed in a slight U-shaped form, with adolescents and the oldest old having the highest prevalence of loneliness. In adjusted multinomial logistic regression analysis, lower education, lower economic status, adverse childhood experiences, having one or more chronic conditions, functional disability and low neighbourhood trust were associated with loneliness. Loneliness was significantly associated with most health variables, including self-reported unhealthy health status (AOR 1.70, CI 1.57, 1.84), cognitive functioning (Beta: - 0.72, CI - 0.90 to - 0.54), having one or more chronic medical conditions (AOR 1.25, CI 1.16, 1.35), having had a stroke (AOR 1.58, CI 1.08, 2.29), depression symptoms (Beta: 5.19, CI 4.98-5.39), sleep disturbance (Beta: 0.34, CI 0.31-0.37), sleep related impairment (Beta: 0.69, CI 0.64-0.73), low life satisfaction (AOR 1.78, CI 1.64, 1.93), out-patient health care utilization in the past 4 weeks (AOR 1.11, CI 1.01, 1.21), current tobacco use (AOR 1.42, CI 1.28, 1.58), and one or more days in the past week soft drink consumption (AOR 1.20, CI 1.10, 1.31). Conclusion: Loneliness was found to be prevalent across the life span and was associated with a number of poorer health variables. Several factors associated with loneliness were identified, which warrant further research in Indonesia.




Peltzer, K., & Pengpid, S. (2019). Loneliness correlates and associations with health variables in the general population in Indonesia. International Journal of Mental Health Systems, 13(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13033-019-0281-z

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