HYBRID EVENT: You can participate in person at Boston, Massachusetts, USA or Virtually from your home or work.

7th Edition of Nursing World Conference

October 16-18, 2023 | Boston, Massachusetts, USA

October 16 -18, 2023 | Boston, Massachusetts, USA
NWC 2023

Debra Garee

Speaker at  Nursing World Conference 2023 - Debra Garee
Grand Canyon University, United States
Title : Implementing loneliness screening to impact referrals to a community health liaison


Loneliness may affect people of all ages, which could negatively impact health outcomes leading to increased medical service use. The project sought to screen patients who may be lonely and connect them to community resources. The purpose of this quality improvement project was to determine if the translation of Mullen et al.’s research utilizing the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) Three-Item Loneliness Scale would impact referrals to a community health liaison among adults. The project was piloted in a rural Ohio community health center over eight weeks. The project's theoretical foundations were Betty Neuman’s middle-range nursing theory, the systems model, and John Kotter’s change management theory. The total sample size was (3629), n = 1575 in the comparative group and n = 2054 in the implementation group. Data were extrapolated from the facility’s electronic health record. To analyze the comparison and implementation group data, a Pearson chi-square was used, and results showed that ?2 (N = 3629) = 25.02, p = .000. The p-value of .000 showed a statistically significant difference between the number of referrals for the comparative versus the implementation groups. Clinical significance was supported by a 2% increase in referrals post-intervention. Based on these results, implementing the UCLA Three-Item Loneliness Scale may improve referral rates in this population. Recommendations include sustaining the project and disseminating the findings.
Audience Take Away Notes:

  • Identify the impact of loneliness on health outcomes
  • Understand characteristics of populations impacted by loneliness
  • Discuss the role of the patient navigator and importance of facilitating connection
  • Identify evidence-based strategies to promote social connection as a means to address loneliness
  • This information provides a practical evidenced-based solution to identify loneliness and promote connection. It also addresses the need for ongoing research, policy, and education to effectively address the problem. 


Dr. Debra Garee studied Grand Canyon University, earning her DNP in 2023.  She is an Associate Professor at Mount Vernon Nazarene University, School of Nursing and Health Sciences. As a nurse educator, her emphasis on the importance of addressing the psychological, social, and spiritual needs of patients throughout all courses and student encounters is noteworthy.