Loneliness contributes to heart disease, higher mortality rates, obesity, and lack of sleep. It has also been shown to have significant deleterious effects on mood, including increased rates of substance use disorder, depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation. However, the causes of loneliness require further research and better understanding by psychologists, licensed mental health professionals, medical professionals, and ministry leaders. Three converging methods (concept mapping, quantitative, and qualitative analyses) were employed to develop and validate a first-of-its-kind tool to assess causal factors in loneliness to provide clear intervention opportunities, especially as adjuncts to mental health services. Participants will learn about the current trends regarding loneliness across the lifespan, contributing factors to loneliness, and instructions on utilizing the new tool (the Social Connectedness Instrument). As spiritual and social beings, patterns of social connections (face-to-face and digital) should be considered in the context of holistic care.
709 | Lost Connection: Assessment and Treatment of Loneliness Across the Life Span
Brian Kelley Ph.D.; Blake Fraser M.S.; Matt Ferdock, Ph.D.
Approved For CE
Psychologists, Licensed Professional Counselors, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists, Licensed Clinical Social Workers, Pastors, Pastoral Counselors, Lay Counselors, Coaches
Approved For CME/CEU
Medical Doctors, Osteopathic Doctors, Physicians Assistants, Midwives, Nurses and Nurse Practitioners
1. Analyze the current state of loneliness in the U.S. and around the world
2. Describe some of the biopsychosocial consequences of loneliness across the lifespan
3. Explain how to use a newly developed and validated instrument for measuring the level of, and factors related to, loneliness as an adjunct to mental health treatments
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