Building Healthy Relationships: Social Relationships and Mortality Risk

Dr. Ken Pope notified me of an article “Social Relationships and Mortality Risk”  that recently appeared in PLOS Medicine.  In a meta-analysis, 300,000+ individuals studied for an average of 7.5 years had a 50% greater likelihood of survival if they had adequate social relationships as opposed to insufficient social relationships.  This effect on mortality was comparable to quitting smoking and better than weight loss.  Despite living in the communication era, people are far less likely to have a confidant and more likely to feel socially isolated.

What does this mean for psychotherapy?  Building healthy relationships can be a goal of treatment that will improve health risk.  Of course, building healthy relationships is a challenge for those who had them historically, but extraordinarily difficult for those who never had them.

Irving Nadler, PhD    Tel:  561-361-0711

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