Social Isolation and Loneliness of UK Veterans: A Delphi Study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

DOI

Details

Original languageEnglish
Article numberkqaa105
Pages (from-to)407-414
Number of pages8
JournalOccupational Medicine
Volume70
Issue number6
Early online date29 Jun 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 9 Sep 2020
Publication type

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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 1 utilized a qualitative approach and Phase 2 and Phase 3 utilized 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 was 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.