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Hyunseo An 1 Article
Effectiveness of community-based interventions for older adults living alone: a systematic review and meta-analysis
Inhye Kim, Hyunseo An, Sohyeon Yun, Hae Yean Park
Epidemiol Health. 2024;46:e2024013.   Published online January 3, 2024
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2024013
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AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDF
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
This study examined the effectiveness of community-based interventions designed for older adults living alone through a systematic review and meta-analysis.
METHODS
The study incorporated 4 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and 5 non-RCTs to evaluate various interventions. The methodological quality of these studies was assessed using the Downs and Black checklist, while Q-statistic and I-square tests were performed to examine statistical heterogeneity. Additionally, visual inspection of funnel plots and the trim-and-fill method were employed to investigate potential publication bias. Of the 2,729 identified studies, 9 met the criteria for inclusion in this review. Independent variables were categorized into 5 groups (physical activity, nutrition, social relationships, social participation, and combined intervention) to examine their effects. Dependent variables were similarly classified into 5 subgroups to identify the specific effects of the interventions.
RESULTS
Interventions focusing on nutrition and combined approaches were the most effective, yielding effect sizes of 0.96 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.66 to 1.25) and 0.43 (95% CI, 0.26 to 0.60), respectively. The interventions had the greatest impacts on the health behavior and mental health of the participants, with effect sizes of 0.98 (95% CI, 0.73 to 1.22) for health behavior and 0.67 (95% CI, 0.19 to 1.16) for mental health.
CONCLUSIONS
This study suggests a direction for the development of community-based interventions tailored to the needs of older adults living alone. Additionally, it provides evidence to inform policy decisions concerning this demographic.
Summary
Korean summary
본 연구는 독거 노인들 대상으로 한 지역사회 기반 중재의 효과에 대하여 탐색하고 그 효과 크기를 확인하기 위하여 체계적고찰 및 메타분석을 실시하였다. 영양 및 복합 중재가 특히 효과적이었으며, 이는 건강 행동과 정신건강에 있어 중요한 긍정적 효과를 나타내어 추후 개별적 맞춤 중재의 잠재적 효과성을 나타낸다. 이러한 발견은 독거노인 집단의 웰빙 향상을 위한 프로그램과 정책 입안에 근거로 활용될 수 있다.
Key Message
This systematic review and meta-analysis evaluated the impact of community-based interventions for older adults living alone, incorporating 9 studies to assess effectiveness in areas like nutrition and combined strategies. Results indicated significant benefits, particularly in health behavior and mental health, demonstrating the potential of tailored interventions. These findings support the development of targeted programs and policy decisions aimed at improving the well-being of this demographic.

Epidemiol Health : Epidemiology and Health