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Publication Detail
Social engagement before and after the diagnosis of dementia: Findings from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing
  • Publication Type:
    Conference presentation
  • Authors:
    Hackett RA, Cadar D, Steptoe A, Fancourt D
  • Date:
    08/05/2018
  • Name of Conference:
    UCL Populations & Lifelong Health Domain Symposium
  • Conference place:
    London, UK
Abstract
INTRODUCTION: Social engagement protects against dementia onset. Less is known about patterns of social engagement following dementia diagnosis. We investigated face-to-face and telephone contact at three times (pre-diagnosis, at report of diagnosis, 2 years post-diagnosis) in individuals who developed dementia and a comparison group. METHODS: Social engagement was assessed in 4171 individuals at waves 2-7 of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. Generalized estimating equations were used to examine differences by group, time, and group-by-time interactions. RESULTS: The dementia group reported less face-to-face (p < 0.001) and telephone contact (p < 0.001) than the dementia-free group pre-diagnosis. The dementia group experienced greater reductions in social engagement leading up to dementia diagnosis and in the 2 years following (p’s < 0.001). DISCUSSION: Given that social engagement reduces dementia risk and supports the lived experience of people with dementia, it is important to find ways of promoting social interaction in older adults.
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