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The role of subjective and objective social isolation as predictors of mental health recovery

Ma, Ruimin; (2020) The role of subjective and objective social isolation as predictors of mental health recovery. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Background Loneliness is increasingly being acknowledged as a more pervasive experience for people with mental health problems than the general population. Research also suggests that people with mental health problems tend to be more objectively socially isolated than people without mental health diagnoses. However, with most research to date are restricted to their cross-sectional design, more longitudinal studies exploring the impact of both issues on mental health outcomes are of high value. Method Drawing the data from the Crisis Team Optimisation and Relapse Prevention (CORE) study, this PhD thesis established whether baseline loneliness and social network size were associated with self-rated personal recovery and overall psychiatric symptom severity at 18-month follow-up among people with mental health issues. This PhD thesis also determined whether persistent severe loneliness and persistent objective social isolation were associated with poor self-rated personal recovery at 18-month follow-up. Additionally, a systematic review was carried out to evaluate the effectiveness of potential interventions for subjective and objective social isolation among people with mental health problems. Results The quantitative analyses indicate that greater baseline loneliness was associated with poorer personal recovery and greater symptom severity at 18-month follow-up, after adjusting for three blocks of baseline confounding variables. Persistent severe loneliness group was associated with the poorest self-rated personal recovery at 18-month follow-up, followed by the intermittent severe loneliness group and never severe loneliness group. Persistent objective social isolation group was also associated with poorer personal recovery at 18-month follow-up, compared to the never objective social isolation group. The systematic review provides preliminary evidence supporting promising interventions with cognition modification for subjective social isolation, interventions with supported socialisation and mixed strategies for objective social isolation. Conclusion This research advances our existing evidence-base in the field of loneliness research. The need for more rigorous work with a longitudinal research design is warranted.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: The role of subjective and objective social isolation as predictors of mental health recovery
Event: University College London
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2020. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Division of Psychiatry
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10095051
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