Cross‑sectional and longitudinal associations between receptive arts engagement and loneliness among older adults

Tymoszuk, U. and Perkins, R. and Fancourt, D. and Williamon, A. (2019) Cross‑sectional and longitudinal associations between receptive arts engagement and loneliness among older adults. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology. pp. 1-10. ISSN 0933-7954 (print) 1433-9285 (online)

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Purpose: Loneliness in older adulthood is a societal and public health challenge warranting identification of sustainable and community-based protective factors. This study investigated whether frequency of receptive arts engagement is associated with lower odds of loneliness in older adults. Methods: We used data of respondents from waves 2 (2004–2005) and 7 (2014–2015) of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) and examined cross-sectional (n = 6222) and longitudinal (n = 3127) associations between frequency of receptive arts engagement (including visits to the cinema, museums/galleries/exhibitions, theatre/concerts/opera) and odds of loneliness (cut-off ≥ 6 on three-item short form of the Revised UCLA Loneliness Scale). We fitted logistic regression models adjusted for a range of sociodemographic, economic, health and social, community and civic engagement factors. Results: Cross-sectionally, we found dose–response negative associations between engagement with all receptive arts activities and odds of loneliness. Prospectively, in the fully-adjusted models we found most robust evidence for the negative association between engagement with museums/galleries/exhibitions and odds of loneliness (OR = 0.68, 95% CI 0.48–0.95) for those who engaged every few months or more often compared with those who never engaged. We found weaker evidence for lower odds of loneliness for more frequent engagement with theatre/concerts/opera. Conclusions: Frequent engagement with certain receptive arts activities and venues, particularly museums, galleries and exhibitions, may be a protective factor against loneliness in older adults. Future research is needed to identify the mechanisms through which this process may occur, leading to better understanding of how arts activities and venues can reduce loneliness among older adults.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Ageing, arts cohort study, cultural engagement, ELSA, perceived isolation
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Division: Performance Science
Depositing User: Ms Katharine Liley
Date Deposited: 12 Sep 2019 13:59
Last Modified: 16 Sep 2019 13:58

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