Deterioration Of Thought Processes

Deterioration Of Thought Processes


Introduction of Nursing Diagnosis: Deterioration Of Thought Processes

The deterioration of thought processes includes changes to the ability to think rationally and clearly. It is most often seen in older adults and those with chronic conditions, although it can occur at any age. It is important for Nurses to recognize and assess the signs of a patient experiencing cognitive decline in order to provide appropriate care.

Nursing Diagnosis Definition

The Nursing Diagnosis “Deterioration Of Thought Processes” is defined as “a progressive decrease in mental abilities such as learning, memory, judgment, problem solving, and decision making.”

Defining Characteristics


  • Complaints of changes in cognition
  • Verbalization of confusion
  • Inability to follow directions
  • Inability to comprehend or express thoughts


  • Impaired ability to recall events
  • Decreased level of concentration
  • Reduced problem solving ability
  • Response inconsistent with previous behavior patterns

Related Factors

The most common factors associated with the deterioration of thought processes include age, disease and illness, injury, stress, depression, alcohol/drug use, and polypharmacy.

Risk Population

Older adults are typically at a higher risk for cognitive impairment due to the normal aging process. Those diagnosed with certain diseases or disorders, including dementia, schizophrenia, or AIDS, may also have an increased risk. Additionally, those who have suffered from anoxic or traumatic brain injury or have metabolic disorders are also more susceptible to cognitive impairment.

Associated Problems

Decreased ability in thought processes can lead to a variety of problems, including increased risk for accidents and injuries, continued mental health issues, impaired self-care and social interaction skills, blurry vision, and decreased ability to remember or recognize people.

Suggestions of Use

Nursing assessments that utilizes observations, questions, laboratory tests, and physical exam can provide information to identify signs of cognitive impairment. Once identified, a plan of care can be implemented to address the deteriorating thought processes, with interventions adapting to the patient’s changing needs.

Suggested Alternative Nanda Diagnoses

  • Ineffective Coping – Changing or anxious reaction to an immediate concern or psychosocial stimulus.
  • Risk for Impaired Religiosity – Vulnerable for alterations in spiritual beliefs as evidenced by feelings of guilt.
  • Ineffective Therapeutic Regimen Management – Patient’s ability to understand and engage in the prescribed treatment regimen is impaired.
  • Ineffective Health Maintenance – Impaired ability to understand and perform activities in order to maintain optimal health.

Usage Tips

It is important to remain focused on patient-centered care when addressing a cognitive impairment and providing nursing care. Meeting the individual needs of a patient, while also ensuring informed consent is obtained, will help to ensure safety.

NOC Results

  • Safety/Protection – Ability to protect and provide safety to self.
  • Decision-Making – Ability to make sound decisions.
  • Knowledge – Understanding the impact of deteriorating thought processes on daily life.
  • Coping – Implementing strategies to manage the symptoms of cognitive impairment.

NIC Interventions

  • Environmental Management – Modifying the environment to promote safety and reduce stimulation.
  • Cognitive Retraining – Encouraging the use of strategies to increase the ability to recall information and learn new skills.
  • Behavioral Interventions – Utilizing positive reinforcement to increase desirable behaviors that promote overall well-being.
  • Reorientation – Redirecting the patient’s attention as needed.

Conclusion and FAQ

The deterioration of thought processes can lead to a variety of complications and difficultly in day-to-day life, therefore it is important for Nurses to assess for cognitive decline and provide appropriate care. With the right tools and interventions, health professionals can minimize the long term effects of cognitive declination and help individuals maintain their quality of life.
FAQ: What is the nursing diagnosis for 'Deterioration Of Thought Processes'? nursing diagnosis for 'Deterioration Of Thought Processes' is “a progressive decrease in mental abilities such as learning, memory, judgment, problem solving, and decision making.”

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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