Table 1

Summary of studies, demographics, measures and outcomes

Study (year)/countryPopulationSample sizeDepression measureLoneliness measuresQuality-of-life measureSocial support measureWell-being measureOther measuresStudy qualityTime pointStudy outcomes
Charlesworth14 (2008)/UKCarers in dementia236HADSOwn scaleEQ-5DMSPSSAnxiety (HADS),
social network (PANT), clinical symptoms (PNAS)
High6 months
15 months
24 months
No effect
Coe25 (2013)/UKWomen with perinatal anxiety and depression189HADSMSSIAnxiety (HADS),
relationship (MORS)
Low12 monthsEffect for anxiety, depression, relationship, social support
Davidson 15 (2004)/USAIndividuals with severe mental illness260CES-D*WBSNon-psychotic psychiatric symptomatology (GHQ),
social functioning (SFS), psychiatric symptoms (BPRS), functional impairment (GAF-M), diagnosis (SCID), satisfaction (own scale), self-esteem (RSE)
Medium4 months
9 months
No effect
Harris16 (1999)/UKWomen with chronic depression86PSE-10High13 monthsEffect for depression
Heller17 (1991)/UKIsolated elderly women with low support265CES-DOwn scale PSS PGCPhysical health, ADL, 
social network (NES), stressful events, social competence (own measure)
Low20 weeksNo effect
Hughes26 (1999)/UKIndividuals with learning disabilities4Social network* (network size),
social activities (frequency)
Low4 monthsNo effect
MacIntyre18 (1999)/CanadaElderly individuals22PRQ*Functional ability (ECOG),
health perception (HPQ)
Low12 weeksEffect for social support and well-being
McCorkle27 (2008)/USAIndividuals with severe mental illness154Composite measures of ISEL and LQoL*Composite measures of RSE, RAS, HHS, MDES, LRI, LQoLPsychiatric symptoms (HSC, CSI)High6 months
12 months
Effect for social support
McNeil19 (1991)/CanadaDepressed elderly individuals30BDIAerobic capacity (Cooper Test)Medium6 weeksEffect for depression
Mountain20 (2014)/UKSocially isolated elderly individuals248PHQ-9DJGEQ-5D
ONSMental well-being (SF-36*), self-efficacy (GSE)High6 monthsNo effect
Rantanen21 (2015)/FinlandElderly individuals with mobility limitations121WHO QOL-BREF*WHO QOL-BREFPhysical capacity, social relationship, lower extremity (WHO QOL-BREF, SPPB)High3 monthsEffect for physical capacity
Sheridan22 (2015)/IrelandIndividuals with severe mental illness107BDISELSA-SSocial functioning (SFS*), support networks (PANT), self-esteem (RSE)Medium3 months
9 months
No effect
Walshe24 (2016)/UKOlder adults receiving end-of-life care services179DJGWHO QOL-BREF*mMOS-SSSocial network size, carer burden (CBS-EOLC) and contact with health and social care servicesHigh4 weeks
8 weeks
No effect
White23 (2012)/AustraliaIndividuals with colorectal cancer510HADSAnxiety (HADS), care needs (SCNS), colorectal symptoms (own measure), use of health services (frequency)High3 months
6 months
9 months
No effect
  • *Primary outcome reported as a patient-reported outcome measure.

  • Scale developed by Paloutzian and Ellison32.

  • ADL, Activities of Daily Living Scale; BDI, Beck Depression Index; BPRS, Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale; CBS-EOLC, Caregiver’s Burden Scale in End-of-Life Care; CES-D, Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale; CSI, Colorado Symptom Index; DJG, De Jong Gierveld Loneliness Scale; ECOG, Performance Status Scale; EQ-5D, EuroQol-5D; GAF-M, Global Assessment of Functioning-Modified; GHQ, Global Health Questionnaire; GSE, General Perceived Self Efficacy; HADS, Hamilton for Anxiety and Depression Scale; HHS, Herth Hope Scale; HPQ, Health Perceptions Questionnaire; HSC, Hopkins Symptom Checklist; ISEL, Interpersonal Support Evaluation List; LQoL, Lehman Brief Quality of Life Interview; LRI, Life Regard Index; MDES, Making Decisions Empowerment Scale; mMOS-SS, modified Medical Outcomes Study Social Support Survey; MORS, Mothers Object Relationship Scale; MSPSS, Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support; MSSI, Maternal Social Support Index; NES, Network Embeddedness Scale; ONS, Office for National Statistics Well-being Scale; PANT, Practitioner Assessment of Network Type; PGC, Philadelphia Geriatric Centre Morale Scale; PHQ-9, Patient Health Questionnaire; PNAS, Positive and Negative Affect Schedule; PRQ Personal Resource Questionnaire; PSE-10, Present State Examination; PSS, Perceived Social Support Scale; RAS, Recovery Assessment Scale; RSE, Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale; SCID, Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV; SCNS, Supportive Care Needs Survey; SELSA-S, Social and Emotional Loneliness Scale for Adults; SF-36, Short Form Health Instrument; SFS, Social Functioning Scale; SPPB, Short Physical Performance Battery; WBS, Wellbeing Scale; WHO QOL-BREF, WHO Quality of Life Short Version Scale.