Category Archives: Loneliness

Mindfulness has the power to reduce people’s experience of loneliness

Lonely older adults have increased risk of illness and premature death. Various behavioural treatments have attempted to reduce loneliness and its associated health risks, but have had limited success. This study tested whether the 8-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program (compared with a control group) reduces loneliness and reduces the inflammation often associated with loneliness in older adults. Consistent with study predictions, the MBSR program reduced loneliness, compared to small increases in loneliness in the control group. This work provides an initial indication that MBSR may be a novel treatment approach for reducing loneliness and related inflammation in older adults.

To access the full study click this link.

Understanding the psychological drivers of loneliness

The purpose of this paper is to outline the need to develop a more balanced approach to addressing the various types of loneliness experience by older people by recognising the psychological and emotional dynamics which cause it. It proposes a more holistic psychosocial approach to loneliness. This requires urgent attention given the very weak evidence base for the current ‘socially based’ interventions. There is a need to develop approaches which address loneliness ‘from the inside out’, rather than just continuing to try and get lonely people to join groups.

Access to the full article can be found here (behind paywall)