Social Disconnectedness in Individuals with Cardiovascular Disease: Associations with Health Literacy and Treatment Burden

Julie Christiansen, Mathias Lasgaard, Susanne S Pedersen, Marie Hauge Pedersen, Karina Friis

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BACKGROUND: Knowledge is limited on associations between social disconnectedness (i.e. loneliness and social isolation), health literacy and perceived treatment burden in individuals with cardiovascular disease (CVD). However, understanding these associations may be important for clinical practice.

METHODS: This study used cross-sectional self-reported data from the 2017 Danish health and morbidity survey entitled 'How are you?', investigating the associations of loneliness and social isolation with low health literacy and high treatment burden in individuals with CVD (n = 2521; mean age = 65.7 years).

RESULTS: Logistic regression analysis showed that loneliness and social isolation were associated with low health literacy in terms of difficulties in 'understanding health information' (loneliness: adjusted odds ratio (AOR) = 1.32, 95% confidence intervals (CI) [1.16, 1.50]; social isolation: AOR = 1.47, 95% CI [1.24, 1.73]) and 'engaging with healthcare providers' (loneliness: AOR = 1.53, 95% CI [1.37, 1.70]; social isolation: AOR = 1.21, 95% CI [1.06, 1.40]) and associated with high treatment burden (loneliness: AOR = 1.49, 95% CI [1.35, 1.65]; social isolation: AOR = 1.20, 95% CI [1.06, 1.37]).

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings show that loneliness and social isolation coexisted with low health literacy and high treatment burden in individuals with CVD. These findings are critical as socially disconnected individuals experience more health issues. Low health literacy and a high treatment burden may potentially exacerbate these issues.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Medicine
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13. Mar 2024

Bibliographical note

© 2024. The Author(s).

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