Loneliness:A clinical investigation
The research problem was to examine loneliness in the hospitalized medical-surgical patient. A phenomenological methodology and data analysis procedure developed by Morse (1980) were used. The research setting was a hospital in the Southwestern United States. A purposive sampling technique was used to select the twelve participants in the sample. Two instruments, a demographic data form and loneliness interview, were used for data collection. Major components of loneliness experiences were identified from data analysis. Descriptions of loneliness experiences were analyzed for common patterns and generalities. Findings included the construction of a definition of loneliness, the behavioral responses employed to alleviate loneliness, and the discovery that the majority of the participants were lonely. The results supported the literature description of loneliness and provided information for further delineation of an assessment tool. A loneliness model was constructed for explanation of this phenomenon and as an initial step for future theory development.