Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton
Health SciencesOur research

Research project: The Project About Loneliness and Social networks (PALS) study

Currently Active: 

A cluster-randomised trial comparing GENIE with usual care for socially-isolated people, with embedded process evaluation and qualitative studies.

The PALS study will assess the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of introducing a social networking intervention (i.e. GENIE) in a community setting. We will map an individual’s social network and link people with social activities and support as an intervention to address social isolation and loneliness, in comparison to a “usual care” wait-list control group.

There will be a series of qualitative process studies nestled within the trial to examine the processes (and issues) relating to implementing the intervention within the community context, and economic modelling to assess whether this is cost effective.

Project team:

PI: Dr Rebecca Band

Process evaluation lead: Dr Jaimie Ellis

Professor Anne Rogers

Liz James

Dr Tara Cheetham

Karina Kinsella (external)

Kate Rodger

Leyli Beheshty-Zadeh

Sandy Ciccognani


Dr David Culliford 

Dr Sean Ewings 

Dr Rebecca Kandiyali (external)

Katie Breheny (external)

Prof Lucy Yardley

Dr Ivo Vassilev 

Dr Christian Blickem (external)

Prof Mari Carmen Portillo 

Linked projects:

Social isolation and loneliness: the experiences of mothers

The purpose of this study is to develop a rich understanding of the experiences of loneliness and social isolation for new mums, and their relationship with mental health and personal social networks.

The overall aim of the study is to explore how loneliness and social isolation is experienced by women who are mums and how these experiences relate to their personal social networks.

Study team:

  • Rebecca Band 
  • Jaimie Ellis 
  • Anne Rogers 
  • Sandy Ciccognani

Theoretical approaches to loneliness

Evidence suggests that for some individuals addressing social cognitions (that is, underlying thoughts in relation to meaningful social engagement and the associated behaviours and emotions) could be as beneficial in addressing loneliness.

The purpose of this study is to review the literature for relevant existing evidence for cognitive/ cognitive behavioural factors in loneliness. As this literature is likely to be limited, the review will also be extended to include social anxiety and paranoia.

Study team:

The collective efficacy of British communities during the COVID-19 pandemic

Given the unpredictable and unprecedented nature of the current situation here in the UK, the likely prolonged periods of individual isolation, and increased potential need to rely on (as well as offer support to) personal social networks, the current study proposes to build on expertise and ongoing work in understanding the relationships between isolation, connecting with social networks and mental wellbeing in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Study team:

  • Rebecca Band 
  • Jaimie Ellis 
  • Anne Rogers  


Tel: +44 (0)7856871195

Twitter: @PALS_study

Related research groups:

Social Network Health and Wellbeing


Share this research project Share this on Facebook Share this on Twitter Share this on Weibo
Privacy Settings