Voluntary sector interventions to address loneliness and mental health in older people: taking account of emotional, psychological and social wellbeing

DAYSON, Christopher, HARRIS, Catherine and WOODWARD, Abigail (2021). Voluntary sector interventions to address loneliness and mental health in older people: taking account of emotional, psychological and social wellbeing. Perspectives in Public Health.

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Dayson, Harris, Woodward (2021) Voluntary sector interventions to address loneliness and mental health in older people, Perspectives in Public Health.pdf - Accepted Version
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    Abstract

    Aims (A) To explore the relationship between loneliness and mental health in older people accessing interventions delivered through the voluntary sector. (B) To understand how these interventions can take account of mental health, discussing the relative strengths of a number of different one-to-one and group-based interventions. Methods Qualitative case study of Age Better in Sheffield (ABiS), an initiative to address loneliness and isolation amongst older people (aged over 50). 37 beneficiaries of voluntary sector interventions participated in the study: 17 had accessed a one-to-one intervention and 20 had accessed group-based activities. Results One-to-one therapeutic interventions are beneficial when loneliness is associated with low psychological and emotional wellbeing stemming from trauma and other complex preexisting issues that have left individuals unable to build social relationships and networks. One-to-one peer-to-peer interventions are beneficial for individuals whose loneliness is linked to low psychological and emotional wellbeing but for whom their issues are less complex. Group-based interventions are beneficial when loneliness is linked to social wellbeing and individuals want to build social networks and relationships and contribute to their community. Participants should be supported to access other forms of support if the benefits of the initial intervention are to be sustained. Conclusions There is an inter-connected relationship between loneliness and the emotional, psychological and social components of mental health that should be taken into account in the design of interventions. A range of one-to-one and group-based interventions are necessary to meetthe varying needs and circumstances of older people experiencing loneliness. Public health commissioners should invest in an ecosystemof voluntary organisations providing different types of loneliness intervention if the epidemic of loneliness is to be addressed.

    Item Type: Article
    Uncontrolled Keywords: 1117 Public Health and Health Services; Public Health
    SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
    Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
    Date Deposited: 26 Apr 2021 10:37
    Last Modified: 26 Apr 2021 11:55
    URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/28571

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