Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

Health Services Research & Development

Go to the ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR&D Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

Loneliness is closely associated with depression outcomes and suicidal ideation among military veterans in primary care.

Teo AR, Marsh HE, Forsberg CW, Nicolaidis C, Chen JI, Newsom J, Saha S, Dobscha SK. Loneliness is closely associated with depression outcomes and suicidal ideation among military veterans in primary care. Journal of affective disorders. 2018 Apr 1; 230:42-49.

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information vaww.hsrd.research.va.gov/dimensions/

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions



Abstract:

BACKGROUND: Although the substantial influence of social relationships on health is well-known, studies that concurrently examine the influence of varying dimensions of social connectedness on major depression are more limited. This study's aim was to determine to what degree several facets of social connectedness (number of confidants, social support, interpersonal conflict, social norms, and loneliness) are correlated with depression-related outcomes. METHODS: Participants were primary care patients (n = 301) with probable major depression at a Veterans Health Administration hospital and its satellite clinics. Social connectedness was primarily measured using multi-item instruments from the NIH Toolbox of Adult Social Relationship Scales. Primary outcomes were clinical symptoms (depression and suicidal ideation) and secondary outcomes were self-reported health-related behaviors (medication adherence, patient activation, and help-seeking intentions). RESULTS: In multivariate models adjusting for potential confounders and other facets of connectedness, loneliness was associated with higher levels of depression and suicidal ideation, as well as lower patient activation and help-seeking intentions. Social support and social norms about depression treatment were each associated with higher patient activation and help-seeking intentions. Social connectedness was not associated with medication adherence. LIMITATIONS: The limitations of this study are primarily related to its cross-sectional survey design and study population. CONCLUSIONS: Multiple aspects of social connectedness are associated with depression outcomes among military veterans with depression. Loneliness may represent the most important component of connectedness, as it is associated with depression severity, suicidality, and health-related behaviors.





Questions about the HSR&D website? Email the Web Team.

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.