Loneliness is a known risk factor for heart disease and has also been linked to high blood pressure, poor quality sleep, dementia and other health problems. But what is the best way of helping people to overcome it? Researchers from the University of Chicago reviewed 20 studies into the effectiveness of different interventions aimed at tackling people's loneliness. Some worked on means, improving people's ability to make friends and socialise while others worked on opportunity, providing participants with chances to meet new people. However, it was the interventions that worked on motive - people's thoughts about their own likeability and other people's friendliness - that were the most successful. The researchers also found that studies which used techniques of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) were particularly effective.
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