Does Loneliness Predict Subsequent Use of Flu Vaccination? Findings from a Nationally Representative Study of Older Adults in Germany

André Hajek, Hans-Helmut König
2019 International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health  
There is a lack of studies investigating whether loneliness predicts subsequent use of flu vaccination. Therefore, we aimed to clarify this relationship. Data were drawn from two waves (second wave took place in 2002, third wave took place in 2008) of a nationally representative cohort of community-dwelling individuals in Germany. The sample was restricted to individuals ≥60 years for whom flu vaccination is recommended. Loneliness was quantified using the De Jong Gierveld Loneliness Scale
more » ... neliness Scale (second wave). Flu vaccination in the past 12 months was assessed (third wave). Consequently, older individuals that participated in the second wave and reported flu vaccination in the third wave were included (n = 970). The other waves (e.g., first wave) were excluded for reasons of data availability. Increased loneliness was associated with subsequent decreased use of the flu vaccine. Moreover, the probability of flu vaccination in the third wave was positively associated with being retired (ref.: employed), having a lower income, and the number of physical illnesses in the second wave. Findings stressed the importance of loneliness in the decreased use of the flu vaccine. Preventing loneliness may also help to increase flu vaccination rates.
doi:10.3390/ijerph16244978 pmid:31817845 fatcat:v2tdpkezjjf7tgqmdetnha67uq