J Korean Acad Psychiatr Ment Health Nurs.  2019 Sep;28(3):216-225. 10.12934/jkpmhn.2019.28.3.216.

Associations among Uncertainty, Depression, and Anxiety in Isolated Inpatients

  • 1Registered Nurse, Severance Hospital, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Assistant Professor, College of Nursing, Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea. hkim80@yuhs.ac
  • 3Associate Professor, College of Medicine, Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea.


The purpose of this study was to explore uncertainty, depression, and anxiety in isolated inpatients and to identify associations between them, with specific focus on state anxiety.
Data were collected using structured questionnaires and semi-structured interviews, administered to isolated inpatients at an acute care hospital (N=92). The structured questionnaires consisted of the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, Mishel Uncertainty in Illness Scale, and the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale. Multiple linear regression and content analysis were conducted.
Isolated inpatients showed significant differences in uncertainty, depression, trait anxiety, and state anxiety according to gender, perception of sufficient information about isolation, and the type of isolation. State anxiety scores increased when sufficient information about isolation was not provided (β=.23, p=.005), with higher levels of depression (β=.24, p=.020) and trait anxiety (β=.49, p<.001). Through the content analysis, three themes were identified regarding patient's information needs about isolation specifically for disease, explanation, and environment.
Based on the findings, it is crucial to improve the awareness of emotional responses of isolated patients experiencing uncertainty, depression, and anxiety. Our study findings are expected to support the development of nursing interventions to provide proper information and mental health support when caring for isolated inpatients.


Patient isolation; Uncertainty; Depression; Anxiety; Information seeking behavior

MeSH Terms

Epidemiologic Studies
Information Seeking Behavior
Linear Models
Mental Health
Patient Isolation

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