The purpose of this paper is to outline the need to develop a more balanced approach to addressing the 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 paper draws on and reviews the published literature on the psychological aspects of loneliness.
Although not extensive, there is sufficient evidence to begin to develop and test more psychosocial approaches to addressing loneliness.
The evidence base is not extensive and a fair degree of it has not been fully trialled with older people.
There is an a priori case for using the evidence that exists to develop and test out new psychosocial interventions for addressing loneliness.
It is possible that a more psychosocial approach to loneliness will enable more to be done to address the significant distress of older people experience severe and chronic loneliness. It may also be possible to develop more effective preventative strategies which build resilience in older people.
The field of loneliness practice and research is overwhelmingly based on sociological analysis and social interventions. This paper is one of the first to explicitly highlight the value in drawing from psychological data in order to develop psychosocial approaches.
Robertson, G. (2019), "Understanding the psychological drivers of loneliness: the first step towards developing more effective psychosocial interventions", Quality in Ageing and Older Adults, Vol. 20 No. 3, pp. 143-154. https://doi.org/10.1108/QAOA-03-2019-0008
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