Document Type



Doctor of Nursing Practice



Date of Defense


Graduate Advisor

Laura Kuensting - Nursing


Laura Kuensting, DNP, APRN, PCNS-BC, CPNP, CPEN

Louise Miller, Ph.D., RN

Patricia Plumley, MSW, MA, LNHA


Problem: The global pandemic of COVID-19 caused concern for immunocompromised individuals. The purpose of this quality improvement initiative was to assess the impact of social isolation on feelings of loneliness, depression, and social isolation experiences in HIV-positive individuals residing in a long-term care facility.

Methods: A mixed-method convergent design with a purposeful sample of HIV-positive adult residents residing in a long-term care facility was utilized. An evaluation of loneliness using the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) Loneliness Scale (Version 3) and depression using the Patient Health Questionnaire-8 (PHQ-8) were completed. Personal experiences were also assessed with five predetermined open-ended interview questions.

Results: There were 15 HIV-positive adult residents (N = 15) who completed the interview. Mean scores for PHQ-8 and UCLA Loneliness Scale (Version 3) were 8 (SD=6.96) and 47 (SD=10.02), respectively. There were 11 participants (73%) with PHQ-8 scores indicating depression. Of those, three participants (20%) scored PHQ-8 above nine and required immediate referral. A moderately strong relationship was demonstrated between depression and loneliness, i.e. the higher the level of depression, the higher the level of loneliness the individual was likely to be (rs = 0.56, p = .030, 95% CI [0.07, 0.83]).

Implications for Practice: Impact of social isolation on feelings of loneliness and depression varied. The moderately strong relationship between depression and loneliness indicated strategies for loneliness reduction could impact depression in HIV-positive individuals living in a long-term care facility.

Additional Files

Corina Bakoylis - Poster Presentation Final.pptx (853 kB)
Poster Presentation