October 2018

Tackling Loneliness: Review of Reviews

Tackling Loneliness: Review of Reviews

Intro

Why is Loneliness an Issue?

Loneliness is an experience that most of us will encounter at some point in our lives, either momentarily or as a more prolonged experience because of events like the loss of a parent or friend. Being lonely can become a serious issue when it becomes a day-to-day reality as it affects both our health and wellbeing, and the way we function in our communities.

 

What is Loneliness?

Loneliness occurs when there is a gap between our actual and desired social relationships (Peplau & Perlman, 1981), and when the quality or quantity of these relationships does not meet our expectations. Loneliness is different from social isolation. Social isolation is objective and based on the number of people in our social networks. Socially isolated people may have few or no social ties. In comparison, loneliness is subjective and experienced.

 

Who’s affected?

Until recently, becoming chronically lonely (feeling lonely all or most of the time31) was only associated with older age. However, we know that loneliness can be a barrier to wellbeing at any age.

Academics, practitioners and policy-makers have become interested in understanding the risks of being lonely in diverse population groups33, 32, 37, 44 and whether transitions we go through at different life stages may be triggers for loneliness

Close Intro

What evidence was used?

What are the key findings?

Interventions and approaches

How can we build on this evidence?

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