A Simple Phone Call Can Help Relieve Anxiety and Depression for Those in Lockdown

A Simple Phone Call Can Help Relieve Anxiety and Depression for Those in Lockdown

For more than one year, many of us have struggled through feelings of isolation and loneliness because of COVID-19 restrictions and enforced physical distancing to prevent virus transmission.


We felt lonely, anxious and many of us, desperate.


A new study recently published in JAMA Psychiatry found that an empathy-oriented phone call could reduce feelings of depression, and anxiety, while improving the general mental health of study participants, within 4 weeks. Empathy and love can do miracles.


From July 6 to September 24, 2020, researchers recruited and followed up with 240 adults assigned to receive calls or no calls (the control group). They were between ages 27 to 101, with more than half 65 years or older.


Loneliness, depression, and anxiety were measured at the beginning of the study and then after 4 weeks.


Intention-to-treat analyses were conducted. Participants received calls in their homes or wherever they might be when the call was made.


The callers were between 17 and 23 years old and trained in empathetic conversational techniques prior to the study.


According to the findings, compared to those who weren’t called, call recipients reported average improvements of over 1 point on a 7-point standard scale in feelings of loneliness, for a 16 percent difference.


The number of participants who felt at least mildly anxious at the beginning of the study also dropped 37 percent by the end of the study, and those at least mildly depressed dropped by 25 percent. Isn’t that amazing?


In conclusion, the research found that a layperson-delivered phone call program could reduce feelings of loneliness, depression, and anxiety. These calls also improved the general mental health of study participants within 4 weeks.


So tell me, who are you calling today to show you care?

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