Protecting from depression using the Internet?
The elderly psyche appears to be benefiting from increased internet use during times of the COVID-19 threat. According to a recent study, increased Internet use, especially to keep in touch with friends and family, is associated with a lower risk of depression and an improved quality of life.
Based on the results of the new study, researchers from the University of Surrey reported that strategies for increasing internet use (especially for communication) could benefit the mental health of middle-aged and elderly adults and address isolation in the coronavirus crisis. The corresponding study was published in the Journal of the English Language.Healthcare“Was released.
The health consequences of loneliness
The team said loneliness and social isolation is a major concern for many people during the COVID-19 lockdowns, especially the elderly. Loneliness increases the risk of injury Depressions And other negative health effects.
The researchers wanted to know if frequent internet use among the elderly helps reduce the risks associated with loneliness. Therefore, they screened 3,491 participants from the Longitudinal English Language Study on Aging, which was conducted during national contact restriction measures.
Participants were asked about the frequency and type of internet use, for example to search for information or for communication purposes.
Daily use of the Internet improves the quality of life
The team explains that people who reported using the Internet more frequently (once a day or more) had significantly fewer symptoms of depression, and also reported a higher quality of life compared to participants who only used the Internet once a week or less.
Advantages of Internet Communication
According to experts, the use of the Internet for communication was particularly associated with the positive effects identified. The team adds that this suggests that using it online to keep in touch with friends and family will help combat the negative psychological effects of restrictions from COVID-19 in adults between the ages of 55 and 75.
Depression from internet search
The researchers also found that people who primarily used the Internet to search for health-related information reported higher levels of depressive symptoms. This, according to professionals, may be due to a higher level of anxiety arising from reading information about COVID-19 and using other health-related internet sources.
Internet use is especially beneficial for the elderly
As social restrictions persist during the COVID-19 pandemic, elderly people are at greater risk of infection Unit And they are exposed to psychological problems. We found that older adults who used the Internet more often during the lockdowns, and especially to communicate with others, had lower levels of depression and a higher quality of life, explains study author Dr. Simon Evans from the University of Surrey in one Press release.
If the threat of COVID-19 does not recede, experts believe that more frequent use of the internet could benefit seniors’ mental health by reducing loneliness and the risk of depression, especially if more regulations and curfews are imposed in the future. (Such as)
Author and source information
This text complies with the requirements of the specialized medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been examined by medical professionals.
- Anna-Stena Wallenheimo, Simon L. Evans: Frequent Internet use during the COVID-19 pandemic with improved quality of life and lower depression scores in middle-aged and older adults, in health care (veröffentlicht 01.04.2021), Healthcare
- University of Surrey: Frequent Internet use by the elderly during lockdown linked to mental health benefits (veröffentlicht 22.04.2021), University of Surrey
This article is for general guidance only and is not intended to be used for self-diagnosis or self-medication. He cannot replace a visit to the doctor.
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