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Supportive Care

Social Isolation: Managing Psychological Distress in Hospitalized Patients During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Naomi Cazeau
CJON 2020, 24(5), 472-474 DOI: 10.1188/20.CJON.472-474

The COVID-19 pandemic caused many hospitals and treatment centers to temporarily restrict or prohibit visitors to control viral spread. This article presents a case study of a patient receiving a bone marrow transplantation who experienced psychological distress during hospitalization because of social isolation. The National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines for distress management are used as a framework to outline a nursing plan of care for managing social isolation–related psychological distress in patients who are hospitalized during a worldwide pandemic.


  • Restrictions on patient visitations are necessary for healthcare centers to control the spread of COVID-19.
  • For some patients, visitation restrictions can be a source of increased psychological distress secondary to social isolation.
  • The National Comprehensive Cancer Network distress management guidelines offer an evidence-based framework for nurses managing psychological distress in hospitalized patients caused by social isolation.

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