The UK Government has recommended that anyone with underlying health conditions or aged 70 years or older should self-isolate for 12 weeks during the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet evidence shows that social isolation among older adults is a serious public health problem, as lonely individuals are at a higher risk of depression, lower quality of life and increased vulnerability to coronary heart disease.

This project, led by Dr Gemma Lasseter, Research Fellow and Programme Manager of the NIHR Health Protection Research Unit in Behavioural Science and Evaluation at University of Bristol will survey 600 adults aged 70 years or older in England to explore the use of digital technologies by older individuals self-isolating during COVID19, the impact on self-reported loneliness and ascertain ‘what digitally works’ to alleviate feelings of loneliness.

Study timeline

The study will go live at the end of June 2020 and it is hoped that results will be available from end of July 2020.


This project is funded by the Elizabeth Blackwell Institute for Health Research at the University of Bristol. 

Research team

Gemma Lasseter, Hannah Christensen, Sabrina Grant (University of Worcester), Sarah Sauchelli Toran

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