NURSING DIAGNOSIS: Risk for loneliness

related to:
  1. fear of associating with others because of possibility of contracting an infection;
  2. stigma and discrimination associated with the diagnosis of AIDS and others' fear of contracting HIV;
  3. decreased participation in usual activities because of weakness, pain, fatigue, and fear of falls;
  4. withdrawal from others associated with fear of embarrassment resulting from decline in physical and mental functioning.
Desired Outcome
The client will not experience a sense of isolation and loneliness as evidenced by:
  1. maintenance of relationships with significant others
  2. no expression of feelings of isolation and loneliness.
Nursing Actions and Selected Purposes/Rationales
  1. Assess for indications of isolation and loneliness (e.g. absence of supportive significant others; uncommunicative; withdrawn; expression of feelings of rejection, being different from others, or being lonely; hostility; sad, dull affect).
  2. Implement measures to decrease isolation and reduce the risk for loneliness:
    1. assist client to identify reasons for feeling isolated and alone; aid him/her in developing a plan of action to reduce these feelings
    2. reinforce physician's explanation about the immune deficiency; assure client that continued social contact with healthy people will not cause disease or infection
    3. provide information to client and significant others about how HIV is known to be transmitted; assure them that HIV does not spread through ordinary physical contact
    4. demonstrate acceptance of client using techniques such as touch and frequent visits
    5. encourage significant others to visit
    6. encourage client to maintain telephone contact with significant others
    7. schedule time each day to sit and talk with client
    8. assist client to identify a few persons he/she feels comfortable with and encourage interactions with them
    9. encourage client to allow friends and family to share their feelings and fears in order to reduce the possibility of their distancing from client
    10. make items such as telephone, TV, radio, greeting cards, and newspapers accessible to client
    11. have significant others bring client's favorite objects from home and place in room
    12. encourage participation in support groups.