Definition: Vague uneasy feeling of discomfort or dread accompanied by an autonomic response (the source often nonspecific or unknown to the individual); a feeling of apprehension caused by anticipation of danger. It is an altering signal that warns of impending danger and enables the individual to take measures to deal with threat.


Unconscious conflict about essential [beliefs]/goals and values of life

Situational/maturational crises

  • Stress
  • Familial association/heredity
  • Interpersonal transmission/contagion
  • Threat to self-concept [perceived or actual]; [unconscious conflict]
  • Threat of death [perceived or actual]
  • Threat to or change in health status [progressive/debilitating disease, terminal illness],interaction patterns, role function/status, environment [safety], economic status
  • Unmet needs
  • Exposure to toxins
  • other on the book..



Poor eye contact, glancing about, scanning and vigilance, extraneous movement (e.g., foot shuffling, hand/arm movements), fidgeting,restlessness, diminished productivity,[crying/tearfulness],[pacing/purposeless activity], [immobility]


Increased wariness, focus on self, irritability, overexcited, anguish, painful and persistent increased helplessness.

...other on the book...


Sample NOC linkages:

  • Anxiety Control: Personal actions to eliminate or reduce feelings of apprehension and tension from an unidentifiable source
  • Coping: Actions to manage stressors that tax an individual’s resources
  • Impulse Control: Self-restraint of compulsive or impulsive behaviors


Sample NIC linkages:

  • Anxiety Reduction: Minimizing apprehension, dread, foreboding, or uneasiness related to an unidentified source or anticipated danger
  • Dementia Management: Provision of a modified environment for the patient who is experiencing a chronic confusional state
  • Calming Technique: Reducing anxiety in patient experiencing acute distress.


  • Review familial/physiologic factors, current prescribed medications and recent drug history (e.g., genetic depressive factors, history of thyroid problems; metabolic imbalances, pulmonary disease, anemia, dysrhythmias; use of steroids, thyroid, appetite control medications, substance abuse). May be related to/or cause of anxious feelings.
  • Identify client’s perception of the threat represented by the situation. Distorted perceptions of the situation may magnify feelings. Understanding client’s point of view promotes a more accurate plan of care.
  • Note cultural factors that may influence anxiety.

continue...on the book