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To what extent does severity of loneliness vary among different mental health diagnostic groups: A cross-sectional study

Alasmawi, K; Mann, F; Lewis, G; White, S; Mezey, G; Lloyd-Evans, B; (2020) To what extent does severity of loneliness vary among different mental health diagnostic groups: A cross-sectional study. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing 10.1111/inm.12727. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Loneliness is a common and debilitating problem in individuals with mental health disorders. However, our knowledge on severity of loneliness in different mental health diagnostic groups and factors associated with loneliness is poor, thus limiting the ability to target and improve loneliness interventions. The current study investigated the association between diagnoses and loneliness and explored whether psychological and social factors were related to loneliness. This study employed a cross-sectional design using data from a completed study which developed a measure of social inclusion. It included 192 participants from secondary, specialist mental health services with a primary diagnosis of psychotic disorders (n = 106), common mental disorders (n = 49), or personality disorders (n = 37). The study explored differences in loneliness between these broad diagnostic groups, and the relationship to loneliness of: affective symptoms, social isolation, perceived discrimination, and internalized stigma. The study adhered to the STROBE checklist for observational research. People with common mental disorders (MD = 3.94, CI = 2.15 to 5.72, P < 0.001) and people with personality disorders (MD = 4.96, CI = 2.88 to 7.05, P < 0.001) reported higher levels of loneliness compared to people with psychosis. These differences remained significant after adjustment for all psychological and social variables. Perceived discrimination and internalized stigma were also independently associated with loneliness and substantially contributed to a final explanatory model. The severity of loneliness varies between different mental health diagnostic groups. Both people with common mental disorders and personality disorders reported higher levels of loneliness than people with psychosis. Addressing perceived mental health discrimination and stigma may help to reduce loneliness.

Type: Article
Title: To what extent does severity of loneliness vary among different mental health diagnostic groups: A cross-sectional study
Location: Australia
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/inm.12727
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1111/inm.12727
Language: English
Additional information: © 2020 Australian College of Mental Health Nurses Inc. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: common mental disorders, discrimination, loneliness, personality disorders, psychosis, stigma
UCL classification: UCL
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/10096786
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