Intervention against loneliness in a group of elderly women: an impact evaluation

Soc Sci Med. 1985;20(4):355-64. doi: 10.1016/0277-9536(85)90010-3.


An intervention program, based on an interpretation of everyday loneliness as consisting of two parts--emotional and social estrangement--is discussed. The main variables were availability of a confidant, social comparison and personal control (the CCC-design). The intervention took the form of small group meetings. The sample consisted of elderly women living in Stockholm and interviews were held before, and 6 months after participation in the program. Results showed that subjects had less feelings of loneliness, and also less feelings of meaninglessness, more social contacts, higher self-esteem, greater ability to trust and lower blood pressure (both systolic and diastolic) after the intervention. Analyses showed that women with several years of adult employment on the same job experienced the greatest decrease in feelings of loneliness. Also, women who had had much contact with their grandparents, and women who had experienced a serious or protracted illness in the family during childhood, had the greatest decline in blood pressure. It was concluded that change in blood pressure operates through some other mechanism than the one which effects feelings of loneliness. Finally, a model is presented for distinguishing between different levels of intimacy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Aged
  • Blood Pressure
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Resources
  • Health Status
  • Homes for the Aged
  • Humans
  • Loneliness*
  • Social Environment*
  • Social Isolation*
  • Social Support*