Loneliness: A signature mental health concern in the era of COVID-19

William D.S. Killgore, Sara A. Cloonan, Emily C. Taylor, Natalie S. Dailey

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

630 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number113117
JournalPsychiatry research
StatePublished - Aug 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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