Health and wellbeing consequences of social isolation and loneliness in old age

COURTIN Emilie, KNAPP Martin
NIHR School for Social Care Research
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Summarises the findings of a scoping review which looked at literature on the impact of social isolation and loneliness on physical health, mental health and wellbeing in old age. Searches were conducted on nine databases, retrieving 11,736 articles, of which 128 were included in the scoping review. Almost all the studies reviewed found that isolation and loneliness has a detrimental effect on health. Depression and cardiovascular health were the most often researched outcomes, followed by well-being. Gaps in the evidence base were identified in both the use of health and social care by older people and on interventions to reduce loneliness and isolation. A lack of consistency in the definitions and measures of isolation and loneliness was also found, which limits the ability to compare findings between studies. (Edited publisher abstract)

Subject terms:
social isolation, loneliness, older people, health, depression;
Content type:
research review
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Series name:
Scoping review

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