RISK FOR LONELINESS
At risk for experiencing discomfort associated with a desire or need
for more contact with others
• Affectional deprivation
• Physical isolation
• Cathectic deprivation
• Social isolation
ASSESSMENT FOCUS (Refer to comprehensive assessment parameters.)
The patient will
• Identify feelings of loneliness and express desire to socialize more.
• Identify behaviors that lead to loneliness.
• Identify people who will likely support and accept him.
• Spend time with others.
• Be comfortable in social settings, interact with peers, and receive
support from others.
• Make speciﬁc plans to continue involvement with others, such as
through recreational activities or social interaction groups.
SUGGESTED NOC OUTCOMES
Loneliness Severity; Risk Control; Social Involvement; Social Support
INTERVENTIONS AND RATIONALES
Determine: Work with patient to identify factors and behaviors that
have contributed to loneliness to begin changing behaviors that may
have alienated others.
Help patient identify feelings associated with loneliness. This lessens
the impact of feelings and mobilizes energy to counteract them.
Perform: Spend sufﬁcient time with patient to allow him to express
his feelings of loneliness to establish trusting relationship.
Work with patient to establish goals for reducing feelings of lone-
liness after he leaves healthcare setting to focus energy on speciﬁc
Inform: Inform patient that assistance is available to help him
express feelings of loneliness and identify ways to increase social
activity to bring issue into open and help patient understand that
you want to help him.
Help patient curb feelings of loneliness by encouraging one-on-one
interaction with others who are likely to accept him (e.g., church
members or patients with similar health problems) to promote feelings
of acceptance and support.
Help patient identify social activities he can initiate, such as
becoming active in a support group or volunteer organization. This
fosters feelings of control and increase social contacts.
Help patient accept that other people may view him differently
because of his illness, and explore ways of coping with their reactions
to help patient learn to cope with stigma associated with illness.
Attend: Encourage patient to address his needs assertively. By being
assertive, patient assumes responsibility for meeting his needs with-
out anger or guilt.
As patient’s comfort level improves, encourage him to attend
group activities and social functions to promote the use of social
Manage: Refer patient and family to social service agencies, mental
health center, and appropriate support groups to ensure continued
care and maintain social involvement.
SUGGESTED NIC INTERVENTIONS
Emotional Support; Socialization Enhancement; Spiritual Support;
Visitation Facilitation; Family Integrity Promotion
Perese, E. F., & Wolf, M. (2005, July). Combating loneliness among persons
with severe mental illness: Social network interventions’ characteristics,
effectiveness, and applicability. Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 6(6),