Ineffective Health Self -Management

Ineffective Health Self -Management .


This post discusses Ineffective health self-management, a nursing diagnosis as defined by NANDA International (NANDA-I). It is a common problem often seen by healthcare professionals in patients who struggle to take responsibility for their illness and how to manage it effectively.

NANDA Nursing Diagnosis Definition

Ineffective health self-management is defined by NANDA International as “the inability or decreased ability of an individual to modify lifestyle, prevent progression of illness, and/or seek treatment in order to optimize health status.”

Defining Characteristics


  • Expresses limited or no understanding of the effects of personal behaviors on health outcomes
  • Expresses insufficient knowledge about lifelong health maintenance and lifestyle changes
  • Demonstrates low motivation to change behaviors


  • Absence of self-management skills
  • Delay or failure to observe treatment regimen
  • Delay or failure to seek appropriate medical care for new or existing problems
  • Demonstrates poor utilization of community resources
  • Performs less than optimal self-care

Related Factors

  • Lack of self-confidence in ability to manage illness
  • Insufficient knowledge of illness and treatment techniques
  • Cognitive limitation
  • Limited financial resources
  • Fear of procedure or treatment side effects
  • Illness intrusiveness interfering with life roles
  • Negative attitude towards lifestyle changes

Explanation: The listed factors may contribute to ineffective health self-management by making it difficult for the individual to acquire or utilize the knowledge and skills necessary to manage a health condition or make changes to their lifestyle in order to improve health outcomes.

Risk Population

  • Older adults
  • Individuals with chronic conditions
  • Individuals living in poverty

Explanation: These populations tend to have limited access to educational materials, healthcare services, and resources necessary to support self-management activities.

Associated Problems

  • Inadequate nutrition
  • Delay in recognition and treatment of disease conditions
  • Decreased quality of life
  • Uncontrolled symptomatology
  • Increased likelihood of hospitalization and /or mortality

Explanation: When an individual doesn’t have the knowledge and/or abilities to effectively monitor, manage and modify their health behaviors, certain risks can occur.

Suggestions for Use

  • Provide education to increase the individuals’ knowledge.
  • Increase the individual’s self-efficiency and self-sufficiency.
  • Assist with reinforcing language.
  • Encourage the individual to make lifestyle changes.
  • Help resource utilization.

Explanation: These suggestions suggest different interventions that healthcare providers can use to help an individual develop the necessary skills required to adequately self-manage their health and improve overall health outcomes.

Suggested Alternative NANDA Diagnoses

  • Knowledge Deficit (related to Healthy Self-Management)
  • Risk for Injury (related to Health Self-Management)
  • Powerlessness (related to Health Self-Management)

Explanation: These NANDA Nursing Diagnoses could be used when the underlying cause of ineffective health self-management is difficult to identify and address.

Usage Tips

  • Documenting evidence of ineffective health self-management should be thorough.
  • Utilize SMART goal setting when creating and/or revising plans of care.
  • Assess the individual’s readiness to learn and willingness to participate in health promotion and/or self-management.
  • Utilize both verbal and written teaching materials when providing patient education.

NOC Results

  • Health Behavior: Self-Care – The individual demonstrates the knowledge, understanding, and competencies necessary to rotate effective self-management activities.
  • Knowledge: Disease Process – The individual has the ability to comprehend content related to the diagnosis.
  • Knowledge: Treatment Regimen – The individual accurately recalls information related to their medical care plan.

Explanation: Each NOC result provides feedback regarding the effectiveness of interventions taken by the healthcare provider to assist an individual in developing adequate self-management skills.

NIC Interventions

  • Condition Education – Provide the individual with accurate, timely and ongoing information about their health condition and self-management
  • Counseling – Provide assistance by facilitating an interactive process that facilitates learning
  • Nutrition Therapy – Provide dietary recommendations tailored to the individual’s lifestyle and health condition needs

Explanation: NIC interventions are critical components to any nursing plan of care, as they provide the foundation for effective and safe client care.


Ineffective health self-management is a common issue among individuals with chronic and acute illnesses. Healthcare professionals must assess the individual’s readiness and motivation to learn, and then provide education, counseling, and guidance to equip individuals with the necessary tools to effectively manage their own health. Without the utilization of available resources, effective health self-management can become difficult and can lead to other health complications.


  • What are the defining characteristics of ineffective health self-management? Subjective: Expresses limited or no understanding of the effects of personal behaviors on health outcomes; Expresses insufficient knowledge about lifelong health maintenance and lifestyle changes; Demonstrates low motivation to change behaviors. Objectives: Absence of self management skills; Delay or failure to observe treatment regimen; Delay or failure to seek appropriate medical care for new or existing problem; Demonstrates poor utilization of community resources; Performs less than optimal self-care.
  • How does healthcare provider treat an individual with ineffective health self-management? Healthcare providers can utilize different interventions such as Condition Education, Counseling and Nutrition Therapy to assist an individual in adapting and learning the necessary tools to effectively self-manage their health and improve health outcomes.

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