A new pandemic of loneliness
J Am Board Fam Med
Loneliness is the subjective feeling people experience when they feel less socially connected to others than they desire. Beyond the impact to mental health and well-being, loneliness is linked to detrimental health outcomes. During the COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing and isolation requirements likely exacerbated the prevalence of loneliness, which was reported by 1 in 5 American adults before the pandemic. Whether it be through in-person or virtual visits, primary care clinicians have tools and expertise to screen patients for loneliness, provide them supportive consultations, and refer persons with loneliness to helpful resources. As the societal changes from the pandemic continue to evolve, we recommend that primary care providers include loneliness screens as part of their standard workflow and consult with patients about effective interventions to reduce loneliness.
Lonergan-Cullum M, Hooker SA, Levy R et al. A new pandemic of loneliness J Am Board Fam Med. 2022;35(3):593-596. DOI:10.3122/jabfm.2022.03.210461.