Introduction to the research on: what works to improve social networks and prevent social isolation for people with mental health problems

Authors:
HARFLETT Naomi, JENNINGS Yasmin, LINSKY Kate
Publisher:
National Development Team for Inclusion
Publication year:
2017
Pagination:
17
Place of publication:
Bath

This short scoping review identifies research into what works to improve the social networks and prevent social isolation for people with mental health problems. Searches for the review were conducted on organisational websites and a range of databases, including Social Care Online, for UK based research published from 2000. The review provides an overview of the quantity and quality of the research and a table summarising the 24 studies reviewed and their key findings. It also provides a summary of areas identified for future research. The review found that the evidence around effectiveness of interventions to prevent loneliness and social isolation is patchy and findings are inconsistent. However, there is evidence to show that staff can play a key role in facilitating social networks and that activity-based interventions - such as horticulture, sport and learning - can increase social networks and reduce social isolation. The review also found that befriending may be beneficial to peoples’ mental health, but that there is inconclusive evidence on the impact of peer support. (Edited publisher abstract)

Subject terms:
social networks, social isolation, loneliness, mental health problems, intervention, peer support, befriending schemes, prevention;
Content type:
research review
Location(s):
United Kingdom
Link:
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