ClinicSpeak: calling on researchers to take on social isolation

Are you lonely and socially isolated? What can we do about it? #ClinicSpeak #MSBlog #MSResearch

"If you have MS and are disabled there is a reasonable chance that you have become unemployed, split from your partner and have noticed your social group shrinking. In short you may be lonely and socially isolated. Social isolation is a big problem in chronic diseases, in particular multiple sclerosis. I see both loneliness and social isolation in almost every clinic I do; it is one of the reasons I go home emotionally drained and exhausted after my MS clinics. Sometimes the best I can do is offer talk therapy to my patients; simply talking to them and asking them about what they do each day and taking an interest in their lives helps. The good news is that the NIHR have just put out a funding call to study loneliness and  social isolation. If there are any social scientists out there interested in putting in a bid around MS please drop me a note. Barts-MS and our partners under the MS@UCLP umbrella look after about 10,000 MSers in Central and North East London and the adjacent home counties. This issue is a big problem and needs addressing."

"As I am writing this it makes me realise that as loneliness and social isolation are linked to disability then treatments that prevent disability should reduce both these phenomena. I am not sure if anyone has looked into this in more detail. Preventing loneliness and social isolation could be another argument to support early effective treatment."

NIHR loneliness-and-unwanted-social-isolation-comm-brief from Gavin Giovannoni

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