Consensus statement: Loneliness in older adults, the 21st century social determinant of health

Thomas Prohaska, Vanessa Burholt, Annette Burns, Jeannette Golden, Louise Hawkley, Brian A. Lawlor, Gerard Leavey, Jim Lubben, Roger O'Sullivan, Carla Perissinotto, Theo G. van Tilburg, Mark Tully, Christina Victor, Linda Fried

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objectives. The purpose of this consensus statement is to determine the state of the field of loneliness among older people, highlighting key issues for researchers, policymakers and those designing services and interventions. Methods. In December 2018, an international meeting on loneliness was held in Belfast with leaders from across the USA and Europe. An analysis of the content, conclusions and discussion of each presentation was conducted to determine the frequency and consistency of statements. Results. This meeting resulted in agreement to produce a consensus statement on key issues including definitions of loneliness, measurement, causes/antecedents, consequences and interventions. Discussion. There has been an exponential growth in research on loneliness among older adults. However differing measurements and definitions of loneliness means the incidence and prevalence, associated risk factors and health consequences are often conflicting or confusing especially for those developing policy and services. This consensus statement aims to help address these challenges.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere034967
Pages (from-to)e034967
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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