Pandemic increased loneliness around the globe, but not as drastically as was feared, study suggests – CTV

May 10, 2022

It’s no surprise that the pandemic has increased loneliness worldwide, but according to new research, it may not be as bad as was feared.

The research, which looked at 34 studies pertaining to loneliness from before and during the pandemic, was published in the journal American Psychologist on Monday.

The study suggests that the increase in loneliness during the pandemic was not as great as might have been expected, with around a five per cent increase in the prevalence of loneliness.

But researchers caution that any increase in loneliness can still have long-term health implications and needs to be followed more closely.

“The pandemic does appear to have increased loneliness,” Mareike Ernst, study lead author, said in a press release. “Given the small effect sizes, dire warnings about a ‘loneliness pandemic’ may be overblown. However, as loneliness constitutes a risk for premature mortality and mental and physical health, it should be closely monitored. We think that loneliness should be made a priority in large-scale research projects aimed at investigating the health outcomes of the pandemic.”

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