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SOAR Impact Study

Lonely-Isolated Graph.png

The team at SOAR Together feels passionately about longitudinal research as a critical aspect of programming designed for outcomes, especially when positive outcomes correlate to significantly improved, and potentially saved, lives.  After extensive research on measures of loneliness and social isolation as disparate yet interrelated experiences, two quantitative measures were chosen (one for loneliness and one for social isolation) and a longer, 13-question qualitative questionnaire was chosen based on its success in helping hone and expand programming aimed at increasing a sense of belonging for a population at-risk of loneliness and social isolation.  

The three measures were taken by SOAR programming participants in 2023, some of whom have attended 35-40 programs over 9 months, providing a solid baseline of measurement with early indications of positive outcomes.  Measures will be given to participants every 3 months in 2024 to begin best tracking results longitudinally.

The research SOAR will ultimately focus on delves into the intersection and parsing of loneliness and social isolation, with a particular interest in how varying life events, diagnoses, social indicators, and trauma impacts the level and degree to which individuals identify on the continuum from socially isolated and lonely to connected and contented. 

 

Read an article written by SOAR's Founder on this quadrant approach to measurement.

 

SOAR Together Impact Study Measures

UCLA Loneliness Scale (Qualitative Measure of Loneliness)

For each of the below, tell us how often you feel this way.

  1. How often do you feel that you lack companionship:

    1. Hardly ever 

    2. Some of the time

    3. Often

  2. How often do you feel left out?

    1. Hardly ever 

    2. Some of the time

    3. Often

  3. How often do you feel isolated from others?

    1. Hardly ever 

    2. Some of the time

    3. Often

 

Steptoe Social Isolation Index (Quantitative Measure of Social Isolation)

For each of the below, please answer yes or no.

  1. Unmarried/not cohabiting

  2. Less than monthly contact (including face-to-face, by telephone, or in writing/email) with children

  3. Less than monthly contact (including face-to-face, by telephone, or in writing/email) with other family

  4. Less than monthly contact (including face-to-face, by telephone, or in writing/email) with friends

  5. No participation in social clubs, resident groups, religious groups, or committees

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SOAR Together Impact Study Questionnaire*

A qualitative study of programming to support social connectedness

 

1. How long/often have you been participating in SOAR Together’s programming and in what capacity?

 

2. Can you tell us why you first decided to participate in SOAR Together?

 

3. What do you enjoy most about being involved in SOAR’s programming?

 

4. Are there things you don’t enjoy or would like to change about the programs?

 

5. Do you usually attend SOAR’s programming with someone else? If yes, with whom?

a. Do you think the person you attend with enjoy(s) SOAR’s programs?

 

6. Do you feel like you are a part of the SOAR Together group? Do you feel a sense of belonging?

 

7. Do you think being part of SOAR’s programming has had benefits for you?  (Please describe)

                                                   

8. Do you think there are any downsides to participating in SOAR and its programs? (Please describe)

 

9. If you attend virtually, have SOAR’s virtual programs decreased your sense of social isolation?

 

10. Do you feel connected to other people in the online Zoom environment?

a. If so, what is it that makes you feel connected?

b. If not, what would you recommend helping you feel more connected over Zoom?

 

11.Has participation in SOAR Together influenced other parts of your life? (ie. your relationships, social connections outside of the SOAR programming, social empowerment, stigmatization, etc.)

 

12.Do you think there should be more opportunities like SOAR Together in Connecticut?

 

13.Is there anything else you would like to add about your experience with SOAR Together?

 

 

*Based on “We Don’t Feel so Alone,” A Qualitative Study of Virtual Memory Cafes to Support Social Connectedness Among Individuals Living with Dementia and Care Partners during COVID-19 by Masoud et. al

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