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Nursing Diagnosis for Ineffective Coping

NANDA Definition: Inability to form a valid appraisal of the stressors, inadequate choices of practiced responses, and/or inability to use available resources.

For most persons, everyday life includes its share of stressors and demands, ranging from family, work, and professional role responsibilities to major life events such as divorce, illness, and the death of loved ones. How one responds to such stressors depends on the person’s coping resources. Such resources can include optimistic beliefs, social support networks, personal health and energy, problem-solving skills, and material resources. Sociocultural and religious factors may influence how people view and handle their problems. Some cultures may prefer privacy and avoid sharing their fears in public, even to health care providers. As resources become limited and problems become more acute, this strategy may prove ineffective. Vulnerable populations such as elderly patients, those in adverse socioeconomic situations, those with complex medical problems such as substance abuse, or those who find themselves suddenly physically challenged may not have the resources or skills to cope with their acute or chronic stressors.

Such problems can occur in any setting (e.g., during hospitalization for an acute event, in the home or rehabilitation environment as a result of chronic illness, or in response to another threat or loss).

Nursing Diagnosis for Ineffective Coping
    Defining Characteristics:
  • Verbalization of inability to cope
  • Inability to make decisions
  • Inability to ask for help
  • Destructive behavior toward self
  • Inappropriate use of defense mechanisms
  • Physical symptoms such as the following:
    • Overeating or lack of appetite
    • Overuse of tranquilizers
    • Excessive smoking and drinking
    • Chronic fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Irritable bowel
  • Chronic depression
  • Emotional tension
  • High illness rate
  • Insomnia
  • General irritability
    Related Factors:
  • Change in or loss of body part
  • Diagnosis of serious illness
  • Recent change in health status
  • Unsatisfactory support system
  • Inadequate psychological resources (poor self-esteem, lack of motivation)
  • Personal vulnerability
  • Inadequate coping method
  • Situational crises
  • Maturational crises
    Expected Outcomes
  • Patient identifies own maladaptive coping behaviors.
  • Patient identifies available resources and support systems.
  • Patient describes and initiates alternative coping strategies.
  • Patient describes positive results from new behaviors.
Nursing Diagnosis for Ineffective Coping

NOC Outcomes (Nursing Outcomes Classification)
Suggested NOC Labels
  • Coping
  • Decision Making
  • Information Processing

NIC Interventions (Nursing Interventions Classification)
Suggested NIC Labels
  • Coping Enhancement

Nursing Diagnosis for Ineffective Coping