Social Isolation and Loneliness of UK Veterans: A Delphi Study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Details

Original languageEnglish
JournalOccupational Medicine
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 14 Apr 2020
Publication type

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Evidence increasingly acknowledges the impact of social isolation and loneliness on the lives of military veterans and the wider Armed Forces Community.

Aims: The study gathered expert consensus to (i) Understand if veterans are considered ‘unique’ in their experiences of social isolation and loneliness; (ii) examine perceived factors leading to social isolation and loneliness of veterans; (iii) identify ways to tackle veterans’ social isolation and loneliness.

Methods: This study adopted a three-phase Delphi method. Phase one utilised a qualitative approach and phase two and phase three utilised a mixed-methods approach.

Results: Several outcomes were identified across the three phases. Transition out of the military was viewed as a period to build emotional resilience and raise awareness of relevant services. It was also concluded that veterans would benefit from integrating into services within the wider community, and that social prescribing services could be a vehicle to link veterans to relevant services. Furthermore, access to, and the content of, programmes were also of importance.

Conclusions: These findings illustrate various important interventional aspects to consider when funding and implementing programmes focussed on tackling social isolation and loneliness.