Decision Conflict

Decision Conflict


Nursing Diagnosis: Decision Conflict

A decision conflict nursing diagnosis is written based on the patient’s inability to make decisions, due to competing needs and/or conflicting values. This type of diagnosis is important both for nurses, who often help patients make decisions, as well as for the patients who can benefit from getting a better understanding of their own decision-making process.

Nursing Diagnosis Definition

The Decision Conflict nursing diagnosis is defined as “the state in which an individual experiences difficulty making a decision due to conflicting information, needs, or values.”

Defining Characteristics


  • Reports feeling confused and indecisive
  • Expresses feelings of uncertainty
  • Expresses ambivalence
  • Shows reluctance to make a decision


  • Inability to make a decision
  • Demonstrates behaviors of indecisiveness
  • Demonstrates behavior that indicates confusion about a situation

Related Factors

  • Ineffective coping abilities
  • Lack of knowledge
  • Ambiguity
  • Competing values within a group
  • Conflicting needs
  • Uncertainty

Risk Population

Patients who are vulnerable to developing decision conflict can include those who are elderly, have limited decision-making capacity, lack experience with making informed decisions, or who have cognitive or developmental delays.

Associated Problems

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Fear
  • Inadequate Self-Care
  • Social Isolation

Suggestions for Use

This type of nursing diagnosis can be used when helping patients make decisions, such as decisions related to their health or medical care. It can also be used when evaluating potential interventions, and can be helpful in developing patient-centered care plans.

Suggested Alternative Nursing Diagnosis

  • Risk for Decisional Conflict
  • Readiness for Enhanced Decision Making
  • Ineffective Health Maintenance
  • Risk for Other-Directed Violence
  • Noncompliance

Usage Tips

  • Observe patient's behaviors and interactions with others to determine if decision conflicts are present.
  • Encourage the patient to talk about the pros and cons of each option before making a decision.
  • Help the patient recognize patterns of decision-making as these may reveal underlying decision-making skills.
  • Provide patient education on how to make informed decisions.
  • Encourage the patient to seek out resources to help with decision-making, such as family members, healthcare providers, and support groups.

NOC Results

  • Decision Making: The ability to arrive at a conclusion or choose among options. This can involve the identification of options, evaluating the consequences of actions and options, and selecting the appropriate action.
  • Adaptation: The ability to adjust emotionally and functionally to life changes. This includes the ability to anticipate change, cope with ambiguity, and manage stress.
  • Social Interaction Style: The manner in which an individual behaves in a social context. This includes interpersonal communication, problem-solving style, and other types of social interaction.

NIC Interventions

  • Decision-Making Facilitation: Assisting patient in making decisions that reflect the patient’s best interest by providing the necessary education, clarification and support.
  • Life Skills Training: Teaching specific skills to improve abilities to anticipate, problem solve, and accept changes and decisions.
  • Stress Management Technique Instruction: Educating the patient in techniques to manage stress response, such as deep breathing, relaxation, assertiveness training, and supportive dialogue.


Nurses often need to consider multiple competing needs, values, and perspectives when assisting patients in making decisions. The Decision Conflict nursing diagnosis helps recognize and differentiate the essential components needed to make a safe and informed decision. With this knowledge, nurses can develop patient-centered care plans to assist their patients in making the best possible decision for each individual.


  • What is a decision conflict nursing diagnosis?
  • What are some associated problems for decision conflict nursing diagnosis?
  • What are some suggested interventions for decision conflict nursing diagnosis?
  • How can a decision conflict nursing diagnosis help in patient care?

Isabella White

Hello to all nursing enthusiasts! I'm Isabella White and I'm thrilled to welcome you to this space dedicated to the exciting world of nursing. Let me share a little about myself and what we can expect together on this journey. About Me: Nursing is more than just a profession to me, it's a calling. When I'm not caring for my patients or learning more about health and wellness, you'll find me enjoying the great outdoors, exploring new trails in nature, or savoring a good cup of coffee with close friends. I believe in the balance between caring for others and self-care, and I'm here to share that philosophy with you. My Commitment to You: In this space, I commit to being your reliable guide in the world of nursing. Together, we'll explore health topics, share practical tips, and support each other on our journeys to wellness. But we'll also celebrate life beyond the hospital walls, finding moments of joy in the everyday and seeking adventures that inspire us to live fully. In summary, this is a place where nursing meets life, where we'll find support, inspiration, and hopefully a little fun along the way. Thank you for joining me on this exciting journey. Welcome to a world of care, knowledge, and connection! Sincerely, Isabella White

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