Inefficient Impulse Control

Inefficient Impulse Control


Introduction to Nursing Diagnosis: Inefficient Impulse Control

Impulse control is an important part of emotional intelligence and mental health. The inability to resist impulses, to regulate emotions and impulse control can lead to negative outcomes like bad decisions, poor judgment and self-destructive behavior. Nursing Diagnosis: Inefficient Impulse Control is a nursing diagnoses that focuses on the control of impulses in order to achieve better health outcomes.

Nursing Diagnosis Definition: Inefficient Impulse Control

The NANDA approved definition for the nursing diagnosis of “Inefficient Impulse Control” is: “The individual has impaired ability to resist an impulse, drive or temptation to perform an act that is harmful to oneself or to others”.

Defining Characteristics


  • Complains of lack of willpower over impulse activities
  • Expresses difficulty delaying gratification of needs
  • Verbalizes impulsiveness
  • Describes act(s) of impulsive behaviors


  • Limited control of thoughts or actions
  • Acts on impulses instead of considering consequences
  • Engages in risky activities
  • Demonstrates lack of organizational skills

Related Factors

The factors related to inefficient impulse control may include physical or physiological reasons (such as neurological damage or drug and alcohol abuse), psychological factors (such as low self-esteem, anxiety, depression and stress) or both.

Risk Population

Those at risk of inefficient impulse control include:

  • Children and adolescents
  • People who have a history of trauma
  • Individuals with mental health disorders or cognitive impairment
  • People who misuse substances

Associated Problems

The associated problems linked to Inefficient Impulse Control include:

  • Physical injury from recklessness
  • Difficulty forming relationships
  • Poor decision making
  • Legal issues due to acts of impulsive behavior

Suggestions for Use

Nursing Diagnosis: Inefficient Impulse Control can be used by nurses to assess patients’ ability to control their impulses. It can be used to evaluate both physical and mental health and aid in the development of an individualized care plan. Nurses should also be aware of any risk factors associated with inefficient impulse control, as this can help to create prevention strategies.

Suggested Alternative Nursing Diagnosis

Nursing Diagnosis: Inefficient Impulse Control is closely linked to several other diagnoses including:

  • Impaired Judgement
  • Impaired Social Interaction
  • Impaired Verbal Communication
  • Risk for Injury

Usage Tips

When assessing a patient for Nursing Diagnosis: Inefficient Impulse Control, it is important to consider the patient’s social and cultural context in order to provide a more comprehensive evaluation. In addition, nurses should assess any risk factors that may be causing or contributing to the diagnosis and provide appropriate interventions.

NOC Result List

The NOC Result List for Nursing Diagnosis: Inefficient Impulse Control includes:

  • Self Control: The ability to resist acting on impulses or acting in a manner that causes harm to oneself or others.
  • Ability to Follow Directions: The ability to follow directions from healthcare professionals or to comply with treatment plans.
  • Behavior Modification: The ability to modify behaviors in response to constructive feedback and/or advice.
  • Cognitive Self Control: The ability to focus and concentrate despite distractions or temptations.

NIC Intervention List

The NIC Intervention List for Nursing Diagnosis: Inefficient Impulse Control includes:

  • Psychotherapy: Providing psychotherapeutic treatments to address deficiencies in self-control, judgment, and emotional regulation.
  • Cognitive Therapy: Implementing cognitive-behavioral therapies to modify maladaptive thinking patterns and behaviors.
  • Relaxation Techniques: Teaching healthy relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and visualization to reduce stress and anxiety levels.
  • Structure Activities: Establishing goal-oriented activities and structure in the environment to help promote impulse control.


Nursing Diagnosis: Inefficient Impulse Control is an important diagnosis to evaluate in order to ensure a patient's safety and well being. By understanding the defining characteristics, related factors, associated problems and suggested interventions of this diagnosis, nurses are better able to develop a comprehensive individualized care plan.


  • What is Nursing Diagnosis? Nursing Diagnosis is a system used by nurses to classify, identify, and manage patient care based on the individual's needs.
  • What is Nursing Diagnosis: Inefficient Impulse Control? Nursing Diagnosis: Inefficient Impulse Control is a nursing diagnosis that focuses on the control of impulses in order to achieve better health outcomes.
  • What are some associated problems related to Inefficient Impulse Control? Some associated problems related to Inefficient Impulse Control include physical injury from recklessness, difficulty forming relationships, poor decision making, and legal issues due to acts of impulsive behavior.

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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