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Examines in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

Loneliness, Mindfulness and Hope: Empowering Rehabilitation Processes

Submission: February 06, 2018; Published: March 28, 2018

DOI: 10.31031/EPMR.2018.01.000517

ISSN: 2637-7934
Volume1 Issue4


The loneliness of individuals participating in rehabilitation programs may interfere with the success of these programs and limit their outcomes. The goals of this article are to explore the potential impact of two interventional approaches aimed to decrease the detrimental impacts of emotional and social withdrawal: mindfulness and the hope theory. The comparison of these intervention approaches and the focused survey of outcomes’ research pinpointed attention on their complementary value. The nonjudgmental focus of the mindfulness approach on the present ‘here and now’, combined with the hopeful focus on future expectations in terms of goals and pathways, may reduce the loneliness experience and empower the individuals’ effort during rehabilitation practices. This joint impact will be examined in future research of rehabilitation planning. World Health Organization (WHO) defines rehabilitation as a set of interventions designed to optimize functioning, to promote life quality and to reduce the disability impact in individuals with health concerns during their interactions with their environment [1] (World Health Organization, 2017). The adverse emotional experience and loneliness among individuals during their participation in rehabilitation processes may affect the outcomes, since loneliness has been recognized as a potential indicator of threats to subjective well-being and as a risk factor to the health of children and adults at various age stages [2,3]. Loneliness may be experienced as a transient state during challenging periods, but it may also indicate a long-lasting perception with adverse physical and mental health and an unhealthy lifestyle [4] An example to recent public growing awareness and its significance is reflected in the UK’s Campaign to End Loneliness, following the survey that a quarter of UK adults report being lonely and 6% of those report being lonely most of the time [5].

Loneliness has been typically described as a subjective distressing experience. The most common conceptualization is focused on the discrepancy perspective [6,7]. According to this conceptualization, loneliness reflects a discrepancy between the quantity and the quality of relationships that people have versus the relationships that they want [8]. In fact, the loneliness experience is focused on three major components: the perceptions of the self, the assessment of the person’s environments, and the evaluation of the interrelations’ qualities. Considering the health-related risks of lonely individuals, that may interfere with the success of rehabilitation planning; we present the potential joint effect of two current interventional approaches: The mindfulness and the hope theory interventions. We shall conclude by comparing them and proposing their integration and future research.

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