Format

Send to

Choose Destination
J Am Geriatr Soc. 2015 Oct;63(10):2014-22. doi: 10.1111/jgs.13667. Epub 2015 Oct 6.

Does Mode of Contact with Different Types of Social Relationships Predict Depression in Older Adults? Evidence from a Nationally Representative Survey.

Teo AR1,2,3, Choi H4, Andrea SB1,2,3, Valenstein M5,6, Newsom JT7, Dobscha SK1,2,3, Zivin K5,6,8,9.

Author information

1
Veterans Affairs Portland Health Care System, Portland, Oregon.
2
Center to Improve Veteran Involvement in Care, Portland, Oregon.
3
Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, Oregon.
4
Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
5
Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
6
Center for Clinical Management Research, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
7
Portland State University, Portland, Oregon.
8
Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
9
Department of Health Management and Policy, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To determine associations between use of three different modes of social contact (in person, telephone, written or e-mail), contact with different types of people, and risk of depressive symptoms in a nationally representative, longitudinal sample of older adults.

DESIGN:

Population-based observational cohort.

SETTING:

Urban and suburban communities throughout the contiguous United States.

PARTICIPANTS:

Individuals aged 50 and older who participated in the Health and Retirement Survey between 2004 and 2010 (N = 11,065).

MEASUREMENTS:

Frequency of participant use of the three modes of social contact with children, other family members, and friends at baseline were used to predict depressive symptoms (measured using the eight-item Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale) 2 years later using multivariable logistic regression models.

RESULTS:

Probability of having depressive symptoms steadily increased as frequency of in-person-but not telephone or written or e-mail contact-decreased. After controlling for demographic, clinical, and social variables, individuals with in-person social contact every few months or less with children, other family, and friends had a significantly higher probability of clinically significant depressive symptoms 2 years later (11.5%) than those having in-person contact once or twice per month (8.1%; P < .001) or once or twice per week (7.3%; P < .001). Older age, interpersonal conflict, and depression at baseline moderated some of the effects of social contact on depressive symptoms.

CONCLUSION:

Frequency of in-person social contact with friends and family independently predicts risk of subsequent depression in older adults. Clinicians should consider encouraging face-to-face social interactions as a preventive strategy for depression.

KEYWORDS:

e-mail; face-to-face; in-person; social isolation; telephone; written

PMID:
26437566
PMCID:
PMC5527991
DOI:
10.1111/jgs.13667
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center