Ineffective Health Maintenance Behaviors

Ineffective Health Maintenance Behaviors


Introduction for Nursing Diagnosis: Ineffective Health Maintenance Behaviors

nursing diagnosis, also known as NANDA-I nursing diagnoses or standardized nursing diagnosis, is a term used to describe a clinical judgement about individual, family, or community responses to actual or potential health problems. A nursing diagnosis classification is proposed by health professionals practicing across the world and being accepted by major international nursing organizations such as the International Council of Nurses (ICN) and the American Nurses Association (ANA).

Nursing Diagnosis Definition

The nursing diagnosis “Ineffective Health Maintenance Behaviors” is defined as an impaired ability of an individual to behave in a manner conducive to health. It is further described as the inability to adopt health behaviors that have a positive impact on health and prevent disease. There may be delays in seeking appropriate health care or following a treatment plan.

Defining Characteristics


  • Verbalization of inadequate knowledge of preventive health care practices
  • Express apprehensive feelings about self-care
  • Noncompliance with prescribed health regimens


  • Absence or avoidance of needed preventive care activities
  • Neglect of personal hygiene
  • Unsafe environmental conditions

Related Factors/Explanation

Some of the factors related to Ineffective Health Maintenance Behaviors include:

  • Insufficient Knowledge - Lack of knowledge regarding preventive health care practices, hygiene, diet, disease prevention, safety measures, etc.
  • Cultural Factors - Cultural beliefs and practices impacting attitudes and behaviors towards health and health care
  • Environmental Access - Availability of income, geographical access to health care facilities, resources, or support systems
  • Interpersonal Influence - peer pressure, coercion or discouragement from family members

Risk Population/Explanation

Individuals who may be at higher risk for Ineffective Health Maintenance Behaviors include those individuals with Cognitive Impairment, Disorganized Behavior, Low Income Status, Social Isolation, Life Stressors or Transitions, or Poor Support Resources.

Associated Problems/Explanation

Individuals with Ineffective Health Maintenance Behaviors are at risk for development of physical, behavioral, and psychosocial health problems. This can include, but is not limited to: Hypertension, Diabetes, Obesity, Poor Nutrition, High Risk Behaviors, Drug Use, Stress Overload, Mental Health Problems, Inadequate Housing, or Poor Medical Care Compliance.

Suggestions for Use/Explanation

Ineffective Health Maintenance Behaviors can be addressed through a variety of interventions such as health promotion and teaching about preventive health care practices, supporting lifestyle modification, and providing resources for health services. Nurses may appeal to the patient’s values and beliefs to promote healthy behaviors. Additionally, nurses can advocate on their behalf, provide referrals to community resources, and ensure the patient’s safety.

Suggested Alternative Nursing Diagnosis/Explanation

Other NANDA nursing diagnoses that may apply to the same client situation include: Risk for Ineffective Health Maintenance, Readiness for Enhanced Health Maintenance, Activity Intolerance, Fatigue, Risk for Deficient Fluid Volume, Disturbed Sleep Pattern, Knowledge Deficit, High Risk Sexual Behavior, or Imbalanced Nutrition.

Usage Tips

• Use assessment tools to identify areas of health maintenance needs for an individual or population.

• Determine the patient’s level of knowledge and understanding about preventive health care.

• Identify environmental, cultural, and interpersonal influences that may be affecting health maintenance behaviors.

• Create a plan of care with realistic and achievable goals related to health maintenance.

• Teach patients strategies to promote self-care.

NOC Results/Explanation

Nursing interventions associated with Ineffective Health Maintenance Behaviors can improve a variety of NOC Outcomes, including Safety Status, Health Seeking Behaviors, Health Perception, Resilience, Self-Care, Health Education, Family Coping and Family Health Promotion.

NIC Interventions/Explanation

Nurses can provide a variety of interventions to address Ineffective Health Maintenance Behaviors. Some NIC interventions include Health Promotion, Fitness Planning, Self-Care Support, Self-Care Assistance, Goal Development and Facilitation, Health Education, Referral to Community Resources, Stress Management Teaching, and Environmental Adaptations.


In conclusion, nursing diagnosis of Ineffective Health Maintenance Behaviors is a common nursing diagnosis encountered in practice. Recognizing deficits in health maintenance is key for nurses to be able to intervene effectively and reduce risk for future health related problems.


  • What is nursing diagnosis? nursing diagnosis classification is a term used to describe a clinical judgement about individual, family, or community responses to actual or potential health problems.
  • What are the defining characteristics of Ineffective Health Maintenance Behaviors? Subjective defining characteristics include verbalization of inadequate knowledge of preventive health care practices, expressing apprehensive feelings about self-care, and noncompliance with prescribed health regimens. Objectively, this may be evidenced by absence or avoidance of needed preventive care activities, neglect of personal hygiene, and unsafe environmental conditions.
  • What interventions may be used to address this nursing diagnosis? Some particular interventions that may be used to address this diagnosis include health promotion and teaching about preventive health care practices, creating a plan of care with realistic goals, teaching strategies to promote self-care, providing referrals to community resources, and advocating for the patient.

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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