Psychiatry Res. 2020 08 ;290:113117. Epub 2020 May 23. PMID: 32480121
Loneliness: A signature mental health concern in the era of COVID-19.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, most communities in the United States imposed stay-at-home orders to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus, potentially leading to chronic social isolation. During the third week of shelter-in-place guidelines, 1,013 U.S. adults completed the UCLA Loneliness Scale-3 and Public Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9). Loneliness was elevated, with 43% of respondents scoring above published cutoffs, and was strongly associated with greater depression and suicidal ideation. Loneliness is a critical public health concern that must be considered during the social isolation efforts to combat the pandemic.