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Health promotion and public health
Evidence-informed and targeted public health interventions are required to reduce the broader behavioural health impact of loneliness and social isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic
  1. Akhtar Ebrahimi Ghassemi1,
  2. Parastou Azadeh Ranjbar2
  1. 1 Department of Nursing, Hartwick College, Oneonta, New York, USA
  2. 2 College of Medicine, Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Akhtar Ebrahimi Ghassemi, Hartwick College, Oneonta, NY 13820, USA; ghassemia{at}

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Commentary on: Bu, F, Steptoe, A, Fancourt, D. Loneliness during a strict lockdown: Trajectories and predictors during the COVID-19 pandemic in 38,217 United Kingdom adults. Soc Sci Med., 2020;

Implications for practice and research

  • Developing targeted public health interventions to identify larger behavioural health impacts of loneliness due to COVID-19 lockdown are required, and these evidence-informed measures should help mitigate loneliness and improve mental health outcomes in high-risk populations during pandemics.

  • Future research should focus on developing loneliness scales using surveys tailored to assessing different dimensions of loneliness due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


The COVID-19 pandemic initiated a global lockdown and introduced social distancing policies limiting face-to-face activities and social interaction. With growing research on loneliness, and its associations with potential risk of mental illness, Bu et al examined the growth trajectories and predictors of loneliness during the pandemic lockdown. …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.