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Results for 'social networks'

Results 1 - 10 of 56

A life less lonely: the state of the art in interventions to reduce loneliness in people with mental health problems

MANN F., et al
2017

PURPOSE:: There is growing evidence of significant harmful effects of loneliness. Relatively little work has focused on how best to reduce loneliness in people with mental health problems. This study aims to present an overview of the current state of the art in loneliness interventions in people with mental health problems, identify relevant challenges, and highlight priorities for future research and implementation. METHODS: A scoping review of the published and grey literature was conducted, as well as discussions with relevant experts, to propose a broad classification system for types of interventions targeting loneliness. RESULTS: Interventions were categorised as 'direct', targeting loneliness and related concepts in social relationships, and 'indirect' broader approaches to well-being that may impact on loneliness. Four broad groups are described of direct interventions: changing cognitions; social skills training and psychoeducation; supported socialisation or having a 'socially-focused supporter'; and 'wider community approaches'. The most promising emerging evidence appears to be in 'changing cognitions', but, as yet, no approaches have a robust evidence base. Challenges include who is best placed to offer the intervention, how to test such complex interventions, and the stigma surrounding loneliness. CONCLUSIONS: Development of clearly defined loneliness interventions, high-quality trials of effectiveness, and identifying which approaches work best for whom is required. Promising future approaches may include wider community initiatives and social prescribing. It is important to place loneliness and social relationships high on the wider public mental health and research agenda.

Harnessing technology to tackle loneliness

WPI ECONOMICS, OAKLEY Matthew, ROSE Christina Bovill
2019

This report, commissioned by Vodafone and produced by WPI Economics, looks at the prevalence of loneliness in the UK and role technology can play in alleviating loneliness in older people by keeping them connected to their family and friends for longer. Focusing on chronic loneliness amongst people aged over 50, the report also provides new estimates of the potential scale of costs associated with loneliness, which it estimates as £1.8 billion per year to the UK economy. It highlights how technology can be used alongside more traditional community services to facilitate social interaction, and that learning how to use it more fully can reduce loneliness and promote an active lifestyle. This can help older people remain independent in their homes and communities and increase confidence and the likelihood of positive interactions. It can also help to maintain and build networks and contacts, with technology used as a way of keeping in touch with friends and family and accessing new communities and groups. The report outlines five recommendations to promote the use of technology in tackling loneliness, which over improving access to technology, increasing confidence and skills in the use of technology and supporting innovative technological solutions.

Chatty Cafe Scheme

Chatty Cafe Scheme

The Chatty Cafe Scheme supports cafes to designate a 'Chatter & Natter' table where customers can sit if they are happy to talk to other customers. The scheme aims to tackle loneliness by bringing people of all ages together from mums with their babies to older people.

Health and Wellbeing Innovation Commission Inquiry: social connections and loneliness

BEACH Brian
2018

This report reflects on how innovation can help foster and improve social connections to the benefit for all people in an ageing society. It also sets out examples of effective innovation in the area of social connections, opportunities and barriers to further innovation, and recommendations to support innovation. The report is based on an oral evidence session where expert witnesses gave evidence to the commissioners and research from ILC-UK. It is one of four publications from ILC-UK’s Health and Wellbeing Innovation Commission Inquiry, which examined the potential for innovation in the areas of health and wellbeing to ensure that services remain sustainable, address needs efficiently, and contribute to positive experiences in later life.

Londoners said: an analysis of the Thrive LDN community conversations

DAVIE E., et al
2018

This report presents feedback from 17 community workshops, delivered by Thrive LDN in partnership with the Mental Health Foundation, which asked Londoners how they could be better supported to be mentally healthy. The workshops were attended by over 1,000 Londoners including those who commission, provide and use services. In the workshops Londoners gave their views on how Thrive LDN's six aspirations to improve mental health could be delivered. The report includes quotations from attendees. The solutions shared common themes of spreading knowledge, skills and support so that people can better look after themselves and their neighbours. It shows that as well as wanting access to services, Londoners want to be able to help themselves. The report makes recommendations based on the discussions. These include: the development of a network of community champions to tackle isolation; using technological platforms to inform people about support and activities in their community; supporting the development of non-clinical crisis and other wellbeing centres; and providing support for parents through peer-parenting groups.

The community navigators study: loneliness in people with complex anxiety or depression

NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR HEALTH RESEARCH. School for Social Care Research
2018

The summary findings of a study which developed a Community Navigators programme to reduce loneliness for people with anxiety or depression using secondary mental health services. The study also explores the views of participants and mental health services to the intervention and the feasibility of evaluating the programme using a randomised controlled trial. Forty participants with anxiety or depression were recruited and randomised to an intervention group (n=30), who received the programme in addition to standard care, or a control group (n=10), who received standard care and written information about local community resources. Community Navigators were recruited to help people develop new social connections, and to revive or develop existing social relationships with the aim of reducing feelings of loneliness. The study found the intervention was well received by service users. Outcomes indicate that the intervention has potential to reduce loneliness and depression.

A pilot programme evaluation of social farming horticultural and occupational activities for older people in Italy

GAGLIARDI Cristina, et al
2019

The aim of this study was to evaluate a 1‐year social farming programme conducted between 2014 and 2015, including horticultural and occupational activities on six agricultural farms for older people in good general health. Social farming is a practice that uses agricultural resources to provide health, social or educational services to vulnerable groups of people. Activity participation, social relationships, physical activity, and the quality of life of the participants were assessed using a pretest, posttest design. A total of 112 subjects were interviewed at baseline, though only 73 participants were retained through the end of the follow‐up, resulting in a dropout rate of 34%. Data analysis revealed significant improvements in both social relationships and overall occupational engagement at the end of the programme, with significant increases in the frequency of contact with friends or relatives as well as the number of activities performed by the participants. This work adds to the literature on the effects of social farming and indicates that farming may provide opportunities for older people to engage in activities that stimulate social behaviours.

Understanding the effectiveness and mechanisms of a social prescribing service: a mixed method analysis

WOODALL James, et al
2018

Background: Evidence of the effectiveness of social prescribing is inconclusive causing commissioning challenges. This research focusses on a social prescribing scheme in Northern England which deploys ‘Wellbeing Coordinators’ who offer support to individuals, providing advice on local groups and services in their community. The research sought to understand the outcomes of the service and, in addition, the processes which supported delivery. Methods: Quantitative data was gathered from service users at the point they entered the service and also at the point they exited. Qualitative interviews were also undertaken with service users to gather further understanding of the service and any positive or negative outcomes achieved. In addition, a focus group discussion was also conducted with members of social prescribing staff to ascertain their perspectives of the service both from an operational and strategic perspective. Results: In total, 342 participants provided complete wellbeing data at baseline and post stage and 26 semi-structured qualitative interviews were carried out. Improvements in participants’ well-being, and perceived levels of health and social connectedness as well as reductions in anxiety was demonstrated. In many cases, the social prescribing service had enabled individuals to have a more positive and optimistic view of their life often through offering opportunities to engage in a range of hobbies and activities in the local community. The data on reductions in future access to primary care was inconclusive. Some evidence was found to show that men may have greater benefit from social prescribing than women. Some of the processes which increased the likelihood of success on the social prescribing scheme included the sustained and flexible relationship between the service user and the Wellbeing Coordinator and a strong and vibrant voluntary and community sector. Conclusions: Social prescribing has the potential to address the health and social needs of individuals and communities. This research has shown a range of positive outcomes as a result of service users engaging with the service. Social prescribing should be conceptualised as one way to support primary care and tackle unmet needs.

Interventions to address social connectedness and loneliness for older adults: a scoping review

O'ROURKE Hannah M., COLLINS Laura, SIDANI Souraya
2018

Background: Older adults are at risk for loneliness, and interventions to promote social connectedness are needed to directly address this problem. The nature of interventions aimed to affect the distinct, subjective concepts of loneliness/social connectedness has not been clearly described. The purpose of this review was to map the literature on interventions and strategies to affect loneliness/social connectedness for older adults. Methods: A comprehensive scoping review was conducted. Six electronic databases were searched from inception in July 2015, resulting in 5530 unique records. Standardized inclusion/exclusion criteria were applied, resulting in a set of 44 studies (reported in 54 articles) for further analysis. Data were extracted to describe the interventions and strategies, and the context of the included studies. Analytic techniques included calculating frequencies, manifest content analysis and meta-summary. Results: Interventions were described or evaluated in 39 studies, and five studies described strategies to affect loneliness/social connectedness of older adults or their caregivers in a qualitative descriptive study. The studies were often conducted in the United States (38.6%) among community dwelling (54.5%), cognitively intact (31.8%), and female-majority (86.4%) samples. Few focused on non-white participants (4.5%). Strategies described most often were engaging in purposeful activity and maintaining contact with one’s social network. Of nine intervention types identified, the most frequently described were One-to-One Personal Contact and Group Activity. Authors held divergent views of why the same type of intervention might impact social connectedness, but social contact was the most frequently conceptualized influencing factor targeted, both within and across intervention types. Conclusions: Research to test the divergent theories of why interventions work is needed to advance understanding of intervention mechanisms. Innovative conceptualizations of intervention targets are needed, such as purposeful activity, that move beyond the current focus on the objective social network as a way to promote social connectedness for older adults.

A mixed methods case study exploring the impact of membership of a multi-activity, multicentre community group on social wellbeing of older adults

LINDSAY-SMITH Gabrielle, et al
2018

Background: Social wellbeing factors such as loneliness and social support have a major impact on the health of older adults and can contribute to physical and mental wellbeing. However, with increasing age, social contacts and social support typically decrease and levels of loneliness increase. Group social engagement appears to have additional benefits for the health of older adults compared to socialising individually with friends and family, but further research is required to confirm whether group activities can be beneficial for the social wellbeing of older adults. Methods: This one-year longitudinal mixed methods study investigated the effect of joining a community group, offering a range of social and physical activities, on social wellbeing of adults with a mean age of 70. The study combined a quantitative survey assessing loneliness and social support (n = 28; three time-points, analysed using linear mixed models) and a qualitative focus group study (n = 11, analysed using thematic analysis) of members from Life Activities Clubs Victoria, Australia. Results: There was a significant reduction in loneliness (p = 0.023) and a trend toward an increase in social support (p = 0.056) in the first year after joining. The focus group confirmed these observations and suggested that social support may take longer than 1 year to develop. Focus groups also identified that group membership provided important opportunities for developing new and diverse social connections through shared interest and experience. These connections were key in improving the social wellbeing of members, especially in their sense of feeling supported or connected and less lonely. Participants agreed that increasing connections was especially beneficial following significant life events such as retirement, moving to a new house or partners becoming unwell. Conclusions: Becoming a member of a community group offering social and physical activities may improve social wellbeing in older adults, especially following significant life events such as retirement or moving-house, where social network changes. These results indicate that ageing policy and strategies would benefit from encouraging long-term participation in social groups to assist in adapting to changes that occur in later life and optimise healthy ageing.

Results 1 - 10 of 56

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News

Moving Memory

Moving Memory Practice example about how the Moving Memory Dance Theatre Company is challenging perceived notions of age and ageing.

Chatty Cafe Scheme

Chatty Cafe Scheme Practice example about how the Chatty Cafe Scheme is helping to tackle loneliness by bringing people of all ages together

Oomph! Wellness

Oomph! Wellness Practice example about how Oomph! Wellness is supporting staff to get older adults active and combat growing levels of social isolation

KOMP

KOMP Practice example about how KOMP, designed by No Isolation is helping older people stay connected with their families

LAUGH research project

LAUGH research project Practice example about a research project to develop highly personalised, playful objects for people with advanced dementia
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