School of Nursing
Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to present the development of LISTEN (Loneliness Intervention
using Story Theory to Enhance Nursing-sensitive outcomes), a new intervention for loneliness.
Methods: LISTEN was developed using the Medical Research Council (MRC) framework for intervention
development. Extensive literature review revealed that belonging, relating, place in community,
challenges, and meanings of coping were concepts significant to loneliness. Past interventions
were limited but it was determined from a recent meta-analysis that enhanced effectiveness
may result from interventions that targeted the poorly adapted cognitive processes of loneliness.
These processes include social undesirability, stigma, and negative thoughts about self in relation
to others. LISTEN is designed to be delivered in a determined logical sequence of 5 sessions, each
focusing on the concepts relevant to loneliness as derived from the literature. For each session,
intervention delivery is guided by the concepts from story theory (including intentional dialogue,
nurse as listener, examination of self in relation to others and community, synthesizing concerns
and patterns, and identifying messages) and the principles of cognitive restructuring (self-assessment
of maladaptive cognitions, emotions, and behaviors, identifying challenges of changing,
reconceptualization of self, new skill acquisition through group interaction, and identifying patterns
of meaning in loneliness). Results: LISTEN is developed and the first randomized trial is
complete with a sample of 27 lonely, chronically ill, community dwelling, and older adults. LISTEN
was evaluated as feasible to deliver by the study team and acceptable for significantly diminishing
loneliness by participants of the LISTEN groups who were compared to attention control groups (p
< 0.5). Conclusions: LISTEN has the potential to enhance health by diminishing loneliness which
could result in improving the long-term negative known sequelae of loneliness. Future longitudinal
randomized trials are needed in varied populations to assess long term health and healthcare
system benefit of using LISTEN to treat loneliness.
Digital Commons Citation
Theeke, Laurie A. PhD and Mallow, Jennifer A. PhD, "The development of LISTEN: A Novel Intervention for Loneliness" (2015). Faculty & Staff Scholarship. 923.
Open Journal of Nursing, 2015, 5, 136-143 Published Online February 2015 in SciRes. http://www.scirp.org/journal/ojn http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/ojn.2015.52016