The perceived relationship quality with migrant domestic workers is correlated with a lower level of loneliness among community-dwelling older adults: A cross-sectional study

Ken H.M. Ho, Maria S.Y. Hung, Youjuan Zhang, Xue Bai, Daphne S.K. Cheung, Meyrick C.M. Chow, Paul H. Lee, Wai Tong Chien

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: To explore older adults’ perceived relationship quality with migrant domestic workers (MDWs) and examine the correlation between older adult/MDW (O-M) relationship quality and loneliness of community-dwelling older adults. Materials and methods: In this cross-sectional study, older adults living with MDWs were conveniently recruited from neighbourhood elderly centers in Hong Kong. Loneliness and O-M relationship quality were assessed by the 6-item De Jong Gierveld Loneliness Scale and the mutuality scale, respectively. Older adults’ demographic and functional characteristics, and MDW's nationality, spoken language and years of service in the dyad were also collected. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses were conducted to examine the contributions of 1) demographic variables and functional status, 2) MDW characteristics, 3) perceived social network and 4) perceived O-M relationship quality on loneliness. Results: The 178 participants [mean age 83.44 (SD 7.05 years); 155 (87.1%) women and 23 men (22.9%)] were socially lonely (1.07 ± 1.15) and close to being lonely overall (1.90 ± 1.68), and emotionally (0.84 ± 0.97). The mean O-M relationship quality was poor (1.42 ± 0.79), which was significantly correlated with overall (β = -0.33, 95% CI: -0.65 to -0.01, P value = 0.045), and social (β= -0.24, 95% CI: -0.46 to -0.01, P value = 0.04) loneliness, but not significantly correlated to emotional loneliness. Conclusion: Better perceived O-M relationship quality is correlated with a lower level of loneliness among older adults. Strategies to improve O-M relationship quality may alleviate loneliness among older adults.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104952
JournalArchives of Gerontology and Geriatrics
Volume109
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023

Keywords

  • Loneliness
  • Migrant domestic workers
  • Mutuality
  • Older adults
  • Relationship quality
  • Social support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Ageing
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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