Supportive Care
NCPD Article

Social Isolation Among Individuals With Cancer

Madeline M. Christensen

Megan J. Friesen

Julie A. Ponto

Molly J. Di Tommaso

loneliness, oncology nursing, social isolation, socialization
CJON 2022, 26(5), 463-470. DOI: 10.1188/22.CJON.463-470

The COVID-19 pandemic has intensified the social isolation of individuals with cancer. Studies about how to address social isolation among patients with cancer are limited, yet data from other high-risk populations can inform oncology nursing practice. This literature review of evidence-based clinical interventions provides a foundation for clinical oncology nursing practice. With the use of technology, institutional resources, and community resources, oncology nurses can tailor physical activity, psychotherapy, and socialization interventions to reduce the negative psychosocial outcomes of isolation.

At a Glance

  • The prevalence of social isolation in individuals with cancer is likely underestimated and undervalued.
  • Oncology nurses can reduce negative psychosocial outcomes of social isolation for individuals with cancer.
  • By using technological, institutional, and community resources, oncology nurses can tailor simple yet innovative interventions across the care continuum.
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