Inefficient Impulse Control

Inefficient Impulse Control


What is Nursing Diagnosis: Inefficient Impulse Control?

NANDA Nursing diagnosis: Inefficient Impulse Control is a type of diagnosis used by nurses when assessing and addressing a patient’s mental health condition. It is defined as reduced ability to regulate impulsive behaviors. This could be decreased inhibition of behavior or an inability to restrain oneself from acting without due consideration. This type of diagnosis may be seen in an individual with certain types of mental illness or personality disorders, or it may be due to environmental factors or physiological issues.

Nursing Diagnosis Definition

The nursing diagnosis definition of Inefficient Impulse Control is:

  • Inefficient impulse control: An impaired ability to appropriately recognize and respond to stimuli. Resulting in the failure to inhibit behavior or act without due consideration.

Defining Characteristics


  • Reports difficulty in controlling his/her behavior.
  • Reports feeling overwhelmed in some situation.
  • Reports difficulty in making decisions.
  • Expresses regret for impulsive behavior.


  • Displays inappropriate behaviors.
  • Exhibits poor judgment.
  • Uses physical aggression.
  • Talks excessively.
  • Engages in verbally abusive behavior.
  • Engages in high-risk activities.

Related Factors

  • Psychological or physiological disorder: The presence of certain psychological or physiological disorders affects judgment; such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, or physiological disorders such as Alzheimer's.
  • Environmental or social factors: High-stress situations, such as living in a violent environment, may lead to poor impulse control.
  • Substance use: Substance use impairs judgment and increases impulsivity.

Risk Population

Those at highest risk for inefficient impulse control include:

  • Elderly: Limited impulse control may be seen in elderly patients with neurological conditions.
  • The mentally ill: Those with mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety may be more likely to exhibit difficulty in controlling their impulses.
  • Substance abusers: Individuals who abuse drugs and alcohol are at increased risk for displaying impulsive behavior.

Associated Problems

Patients with inefficient impulse control may engage in a range of problem behaviors, such as:

  • Paranoia
  • Violence
  • Self-harm
  • Poor decision-making

Suggestions for Use

In order to address this diagnosis, nurses must first assess the patient's level of impulse control. This can be done in a number of ways, such as observing their behavior or asking questions about their impulsivity. Once identified, the nurse should devise a plan of care to help the patient develop strategies to prevent or reduce impulsivity.

Suggested Alternative Nursing Diagnosis

These include:

  • Risk-prone Health Behavior
  • Impaired Social Interaction
  • Impaired Verbal Communication
  • Ineffective Coping
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Decreased Self-control

Usage Tips

When assessing the patient for this diagnosis, the nurse must take into account any psychological or physiological disorders that the patient may have. The nurse should also be aware of any external factors that may be influencing the patient’s behavior. Once identified, the nurse should then work with the patient to develop a plan of care to help them learn to control their impulses.

NOC Results

These include:

  • Cognitive Processes: Ability to recall information, problem solve, identify cause and effect, analyze data, and take appropriate actions.
  • Behavioral Regulation: Ability to regulate emotions and behavior.
  • Decision Making: Ability to make reasonable and sound judgments.
  • Impulse Control: Ability to resist urges to act on impulses.

NIC Interventions

  • Teach Stress Reduction Techniques: Teach the patient mindfulness meditation and deep breathing techniques to reduce stress and improve impulse control.
  • Provide Support: Provide emotional support and guidance to help the patient cope with stressful life situations.
  • Encourage Healthy Living: Encourage the patient to seek medical help if needed and practice healthy living habits, such as regular exercise, adequate sleep and a balanced diet.
  • Implement Cognitive Restructuring: Work with the patient to identify and challenge maladaptive thought patterns that may contribute to impulsivity.


Nursing Diagnosis: Inefficient Impulse Control is a diagnosis used to assess and address an individual’s mental health condition. It is defined as an impaired ability to appropriately recognize and respond to stimuli resulting in an inability to inhibit behavior or act without due consideration. Nurses assess a patient's level of impulse control, devise a plan of care, and attempt to help the patient learn to control their impulses.


  • What is Nursing Diagnosis: Inefficient Impulse Control? Nursing Diagnosis: Inefficient Impulse Control is a type of diagnosis used by nurses when assessing and addressing a patient’s mental health condition.
  • What are the defining characteristics? Subjective characteristics include reports of difficulty in controlling behavior, feeling overwhelmed, difficulty in making decisions, and expressing regret for impulsive behavior. Objectives include display of inappropriate behavior, poor judgment, use of physical aggression, talking excessively, and engaging in verbally abusive behavior or high-risk activities.
  • What are the risk populations? Those at highest risk for inefficient impulse control include elderly patients with neurological conditions, those with mental illnesses, and substance abusers.
  • What are the suggested interventions? Suggested interventions include teaching stress reduction techniques, providing support, encouraging healthy living, and implementing cognitive restructuring.

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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