Deterioration Of Independent Decision Making

Deterioration Of Independent Decision Making .


Introduction to Nursing Diagnosis: Deterioration of Independent Decision Making

The Nursing Diagnosis: Deterioration of Independent Decision Making provides a basis for nurses to assess and better understand the symptoms and signs that determine the diagnosis. The diagnosis includes factors related to both the individual and the environment, which may be contributing to the decline of independent decision-making. Nurses can use this knowledge to implement comprehensive and evidence-based interventions to reduce the risk of further decline in the patient’s level of independence in decision making.

Nursing Diagnosis Definition

The nursing diagnosis “Deterioration of Independent Decision Making” is defined as a decline in the ability to exercise judgment or make decisions when faced with a situation or problem. This decline in the ability to make appropriate decisions or take action on one’s own behalf may impact an individual’s quality of life.

Defining Characteristics

Subjective data

  • Lack of participation in activities requiring decision-making
  • Increased reliance on others for help in decision making
  • Self-reported decline in the ability to make decisions
  • Difficulty understanding how decisions affect outcomes
  • Decreased motivation to make decisions

Objective data

  • Increased confusion, disorientation and indecisiveness
  • Unable to make reasonable choices
  • Unrealistic expectations regarding outcomes
  • Unable to prioritize decisions
  • Decreased ability to remember prior decisions

Related Factors

  • Poor problem solving skills
  • Lack of environmental or social supports
  • Medication adverse effects
  • Abnormal levels of stress or anxiety
  • Decreased abilities due to aging or illness
  • Cognitive impairments (e.g. dementia)
  • Negative attitudes towards decision making
  • Lack of knowledge about available options
  • Social isolation or limited social networks
  • Language issues or communication barriers

Risk Population

Individuals at risk for deterioration of independent decision making include those who are elderly, chronically ill, cognitively impaired, under stress, or who lack social support. Those with communication barriers as a result of language issues or heterogeneous cultural beliefs may also be at risk.

Associated Problems

Problems associated with deterioration of independent decision making may include increased safety risks such as potential falls, reduced participation in meaningful activities, decreased social interactions, and increased caregiver burden.

Suggestions for Use

Nurses should focus on providing patient and family education to promote awareness of the importance of making effective decisions and to increase their ability to make sound decisions. Nurses should assess for risk factors and provide supportive services to reduce the risk of deterioration of independent decision making. During care planning, nurses should consider goals focused on improving decision making skills and reducing negative consequences of poor decision making.

Suggested Alternative Nursing Diagnosis

  • Impaired Verbal Communication
  • Readiness for Enhanced Decision Making
  • Risk for Injury
  • Risk for Impaired Social Interaction
  • Ineffective Health Maintenance
  • Spiritual Distress

Usage Tips

When assessing for this diagnosis, important considerations include the individual’s physical health, emotional health, and mental status. It is also important to consider the environment and support systems to determine if there are existing limiting factors that may contribute to the decline in the individual’s independence in decision making.

NOC Results

  • Surge Capacity: Ability to recognize and appropriately respond to sudden changes.
  • Decision Making: Ability to make informed decisions based on values and preferences.
  • Social Interaction: Ability to interact positively with family, friends, and other individuals.
  • Functional Status: Highest level of independent functioning.
  • Risk Management: Ability to recognize and avoid situations that present safety risks.

NIC Interventions

  • Drug Therapy: Administer medications as indicated to improve cognitive function and reduce symptoms of deterioration.
  • Supportive Care: Provide patient-centered supportive care emphasizing positive aspects and encouragement.
  • Risk Reduction: Identify and reduce risk factors that can lead to deterioration of independent decision making.
  • Education: Provide patient and family education on the importance of making informed decisions and recognizing the consequences of decisions.
  • Safety Promotion: Utilize patient safety strategies to protect the patient from hazardous situations.


Nursing Diagnosis: Deterioration of Independent Decision Making is a diagnosable condition that can have a significant impact on an individual’s quality of life. Nurses can play an important role in reducing the risk of deterioration by identifying and assessing for risk factors and implementing evidence-based interventions to support the patient in making informed decisions.


  • What is nursing diagnosis? Nursing Diagnosis is an internationally accepted taxonomy of nursing diagnoses that were developed to identify, document, and classify nursing diagnoses, and to support nurses in the delivery of evidenced-based care to individuals and populations.
  • What is the nursing diagnosis definition? The Nursing Diagnosis definition for “Deterioration of Independent Decision Making” is a decline in the ability to exercise judgment or make decisions when faced with a situation or problem.
  • What are NOC results and NIC interventions? NOC (Nursing Outcomes Classification) results list the desired outcomes of a nursing intervention while NIC (Nursing Intervention Classification) interventions list the actions taken to achieve the desired outcomes.

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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