Some patients with chronic diseases are at risk for loss of their social support. This can result in loneliness and difficulty in having needs met.

Risk factors for social withdrawal:

(1) embarrassment about how others will view a visible defect

(2) fear about incontinence or other problem that could result in embarrassment

(3) depression, with loss of outside interests

(4) other emotional problems (making the person difficult to be around)

(5) physical exertion required

(6) barriers present (physical, distance, weather, neighborhood, etc)

(7) need for assistance (assistive device, companion, etc)

(8) no or few family or friends

(9) poverty


The social withdrawal results in:

(1) rarely going out, even to events that are important in the person's life (like attending church)

(2) rarely having visitors

(3) adverse physical effects (poor nutrition, unmet medical needs)

(4) adverse emotional effects

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