• Nikki Latham

More Research Into Negative Effects Of Loneliness, Say Experts

A new report has highlighted where further research is needed into the effects of loneliness on the population.

Experts from the universities of Manchester and Exeter joined forces to create a report for the UK Government, which was commissioned by the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

The report discovered many points that need addressing, including mid-life loneliness (which is 25-60 years old) to further understand what makes this so chronic and life events that influence it. Social stigma link to loneliness, due to social networks and how sometimes current interventions cause more stigma and alienation. Mental health impacts, especially for men and marginalised groups. There are many points that have been looked at especially following the lockdowns of the Covid-19 pandemic.


The report highlighted the need for more and better research to understand the factors that increase or alleviate loneliness for specific populations. One of these barriers for more research is funding to continue this research, but also changes of policy, legislation and improved services will help too.


"Leading this Evidence Gap report was a wonderful opportunity to provide non-experts with a summary of the research findings on loneliness within the UK, " says Professor Qualter.

"In the report we note priorities for future research on loneliness, and highlight gaps for both policymakers and researchers to fill."

Fellow author Professor Manuela Barreto, from the University of Exeter, said: "Loneliness is experienced as very personal, which often means that each of us thinks we know exactly what it is, what it is caused by and what effects it has, which might lead funders and policymakers to think that we already know everything we need to know about this.


"This is not correct, however. This report makes it clear that we still need to carry out quite a lot of research to be well equipped to develop and support interventions that improve connection and or reduce the negative effects of loneliness."

The report can be found in full at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/tackling-loneliness-evidence-review

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