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Social isolation in mental health: a conceptual and methodological review: scoping review 14

Author(s)

WANG Jingyi, et al

Publisher(s):

NIHR School for Social Care Research

Publication year:

2016

Social isolation and related terms such as loneliness have been increasingly discussed in the field of mental health. However, there is a lack of conceptual clarity and consistency of measurement of these terms and understanding of overlaps. This report provides definitions and brief explanations of relevant conceptual terms from the literature, and proposed a conceptual model covering different aspects of social isolation. Aspects of social isolation covered include loneliness, social support, social network, social capital, confiding relationships, and alienation. The conceptual model contains five domains to include all elements of current conceptualisations. These five domains are: social network: quantity; social network: structure; social network: quality; appraisal of relationships: emotional; appraisal of relationships: resources. It then proposes well established measures in the field of mental health for each conceptual domains of social isolation. The authors discuss the strengths and limitations of the approach. The developed model can help researchers and intervention developers to identify expected outcomes of interventions precisely and choose the most appropriate measures for use in mental health settings. (Edited publisher abstract)


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