Navigation Links
Internet use can help ward off depression among elderly

It's estimated that as many as 10 million older Americans suffer from depression, often brought on by feelings of loneliness and isolation.

However, new research a project that followed the lives of thousands of retired older Americans for six years found that Internet use among the elderly can reduce the chances of depression by more than 30 percent.

"That's a very strong effect," said Shelia Cotten, a Michigan State University professor of telecommunication, information studies and media who led the project. "And it all has to do with older persons being able to communicate, to stay in contact with their social networks, and just not feel lonely."

Cotten and her colleagues analyzed the data collected by the Health and Retirement Survey, a survey collecting information from more than 22,000 older Americans every two years. This particular sample included more than 3,000 respondents.

"This is one of the largest and most comprehensive surveys of its kind," Cotten said.

Other smaller studies have been inconclusive about the roles Internet use and technology, in general, play in helping people overcome depression.

One way in which this study was different is it took into consideration the subjects' depression levels before they began using the Internet. The researchers wanted to know if past depression affected current depression.

What they found is yes, some people did remain depressed despite Internet use, although it wasn't substantial. "Internet use continues to reduce depression, even when controlling for that prior depressive state," Cotten said.

The researchers also confirmed what was found in other studies that for older people who live alone, Internet use had a greater impact on their levels of depression.

"This study makes significant contributions to the study of Internet use and depression in the older, retired population," Cotten said.

She said it all comes down to how you choose to use your technology. As with most things in life, moderation is best.

"If you sit in front of a computer all day, ignoring the roles you have in life and the things you need to accomplish as part of your daily life, then it's going to have a negative impact on you," Cotten said. "But if you're using it in moderation and you're doing things that enhance your life, then the impacts are likely to be positive in terms of health and well-being."

This research is published in the Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences.


Contact: Tom Oswald
Michigan State University

Related medicine news :

1. Internet use may cut retirees depression
2. Elsevier launches open access journal: Internet Interventions
3. da Vinci Surgical Robot Sparks Lawsuits; Rottenstein Law Group LLP Announces Internet Resource for Those With Claims
4. NBC's Today Show Interviews Internet Life Coach Gary van Warmerdam about Happiness via the Internet
5. How an Internet Start-Up Is Helping Sport Organizations Train Athletes and Raise Money at the Same Time
6. TAG Business Welcomes Gold's Gym Spring Hill and Launches Cutting Edge Local Internet Marketing Campaign
7. TAG Business Welcomes BrightStar Care of East Seminole County in Orlando and Launches Cutting Edge Local Internet Marketing Campaign for Home Health Care Service
8. TAG Business Strategies Welcomes Gold's Gym Indianapolis to their Client List and Launches Internet Marketing Campaign
9. TAG Business Welcomes Thomas C Volck DDS and Launches Cutting Edge Local Internet Marketing Campaign for Mini Dental Implant Center and Dayton Dentist
10. TAG Business Strategies Welcomes Gold's Gym Flanders and Launches Cutting Edge Local Internet Marketing Campaign
11. TAG Business Welcomes Gold's Gym Hackettstown and Launches Cutting Edge Local Internet Marketing Campaign
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... ... Indosoft Inc., developer and distributor of the world-class Asterisk based contact center software ... , The new Q-Suite 6 platform is based on the latest Java Enterprise standards. ... specific piece of software for many key components of the suite. Much of the ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Additional breast ... found on mammography, according to a study published online in the journal Radiology. ... on mammography may necessitate a change in treatment. , Breast MRI is the ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... 2015 , ... As part of a global movement to ... together who want to combine talents and resources to help create sustainable communities ... The non-profit launched its first major fundraiser on November 6, 2015 at Bent ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... The holiday season is jam-packed ... the palates of attendees is of the utmost importance. Whether you are cooking ... give these recipes a try this holiday season. , Turkey Croquettes , ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Finnleo, a leader in the ... several models of traditional and far-infrared saunas. , For traditional saunas, Finnleo ... most traditional Finnish sauna wood, and Finnleo uses only European Grade A Nordic White ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... , November 26, 2015 ... of the "Radioimmunoassay Market by Type ... Pharmaceutical Industry, Academics, Clinical Diagnostic Labs), Application ... Forecast to 2020" report to their ... announced the addition of the "Radioimmunoassay ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , November 26, 2015 ... the addition of the  "2016 Future ... European Cell Surface Marker Testing Market: ...  report to their offering.  --> ... addition of the  "2016 Future Horizons ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , Nov. 25, 2015 ... the addition of the "Global Brain ... their offering. --> ) ... "Global Brain Monitoring Devices Market 2015-2019" ... Research and Markets ( ) has ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: