Document Type


Publication Date



School of Nursing


Adult Health


Objectives: Loneliness is a biopsychosocial determinant of health and contributes to physical and psychological chronic illnesses, functional decline, and mortality in older adults. This paper presents the results of the first randomized trial of LISTEN, which is anew cognitive behavioral intervention for loneliness, on loneliness, neuroimmunological stress response, psychosocial functioning, quality of life, and measures of physical health.

Methods: The effectiveness of LISTEN was evaluated in a sample population comprising 27lonely, chronically ill, older adults living in Appalachia. Participants were randomized intoLISTEN or educational attention control groups. Outcome measures included salivary cortisol and DHEA, interleukin-6, interleukin-2, depressive symptoms, loneliness, perceived social support, functional ability, quality of life, fasting glucose, blood pressure, and body mass index.

Results: At 12 weeks after the last intervention session, participants of the LISTEN group reported reduced loneliness (p¼0.03), enhanced overall social support(p¼0.05), and decreased systolic blood pressure (p¼0.02). The attention control group reported decreased functional ability (p¼0.10) and reduced quality of life (p¼0.13).

Conclusions: LISTEN can effectively diminish loneliness and decrease the systolic blood pressure in community-dwelling, chronically ill, older adults. Results indicate that this population, if left with untreated loneliness, may experience functional impairment over a period as short as 4 months. Further studies on LISTEN are needed with larger samples, in varied populations, and over longer periods of time to assess the long-term effects of diminishing loneliness in multiple chronic conditions

Source Citation

Theeke, L. A., Mallow, J. A., Moore, J., McBurney, A., Rellick, S., & VanGilder, R. (2016). Effectiveness of LISTEN on loneliness, neuroimmunological stress response, psychosocial functioning, quality of life, and physical health measures of chronic illness. International Journal of Nursing Sciences, 3(3), 242–251.


Copyright © 2016, Chinese Nursing Association. Production and hosting by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.