Impaired Adjustment

Definition: Inability to modify lifestyle/behavior in a manner consistent with a change in health status.


  • Disability or health status requiring change in lifestyle
  • Multiple stressors; intense emotional state
  • Low state of optimism; negative attitudes toward health behavior; lack of motivation to change behaviors
  • Failure to intend to change behavior
  • Absence of social support for changed beliefs and practices
  • [Physical and/or learning disability]



Denial of health status change

Failure to achieve optimal sense of control


Failure to take actions that would prevent further health problems

Demonstration of nonacceptance of health status change


Sample NIC linkages:

  • Coping Enhancement: Assisting a patient to adapt to perceived stressors, changes, or threats that interfere with meeting life demands and roles.
  • Counseling: Use of an interactive helping process focusing on the needs, problems, or feelings of the patient and significant others to enhance or support coping, problem-solving,and interpersonal relationships.
  • Teaching: Disease Process: Assisting the patient to understand information related to a specific disease process

NURSING PRIORITY NO. 1. To assess degree of impaired function:

● Perform a physical and/or psychosocial assessment. Determines the extent of the limitation(s) of the present condition.

● Listen to the client’s perception of inability/reluctance to adapt to situations that are occurring at present. Perceptions are reality to the client and need to be identified so they may be addressed and dealt with.3

● Survey (with the client) past and present significant support systems (family, church,groups, and organizations). Identifies helpful resources that may be needed in current situation/change in health status.

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