The goal of this study is to examine the efficacy of an online single-session intervention (SSI) for loneliness.
It aims to answer is if a 20-30 minute online SSI based on an evidence-based internet cognitive behavioral therapy can reduce feelings of loneliness among lonely people.
type of study: clinical trial
participant population/health conditions: English-speakers aged 16 and older with access to internet and a computer, smartphone, or tablet who meet our criteria for struggling with loneliness.
Researchers will compare a 30-minute digital loneliness SSI to a 3-week loneliness digital mental health intervention (DMHI) and a control SSI in their efficacy in reducing loneliness.
Severe loneliness is globally prevalent and is strongly associated with impaired mental and physical well-being, making it a significant public health issue (J. T. Cacioppo & Cacioppo, 2018b). Evidence-based interventions for loneliness reach a small subset of people who might benefit from them (Hickin et al., 2021; Masi et al., 2011), so identifying new strategies for addressing loneliness at scale should be a high priority. Online single-session interventions (SSIs) have demonstrated particular promise to offer efficient and highly-scalable support to diverse populations.
The study will test if an internet-mediated self-guided SSI can produce lasting improvements in loneliness. The investigators adapted a 9-week online loneliness intervention (Käll, 2021) into a 3-week version and a 30-minute SSI version. The investigators will randomly assign participants to complete the 3-week version, the SSI version, or a control SSI.
The investigators will collect self-report measures at baseline, directly after the intervention, and 4 and 8 weeks after baseline (see attached table for timing of measures). The investigators will also measure participant engagement with the intervention using self-report and behavioral measures. The investigators will recruit teens and adults (16+) for the study via social media.