Ineffective Relationship

Ineffective Relationship

NANDA Nursing Diagnosis – Ineffective Relationship

Nursing diagnosis refers to the diagnosis of a patient’s health condition that highlights the patient-nurse interaction, medical and psychosocial problems, or environmental issues in order to promote and protect the health of the patient. In particular, NANDA Nursing Diagnosis is used as a way of helping nurses to identify, better understand and provide appropriate care for individual patients.

Ineffective Relationship nursing diagnosis pertains to a state wherein an individual is unable to mutually engage in an effective relationship with others. The relationship may be hindered by age, setting, experience, socio-economic, physical, or mental wellbeing.

NANDA Nursing Diagnosis Definition

The NANDA Nursing Diagnosis Definition of Ineffective Relationship designs to describe an individual’s inability to establish or maintain relationships and interact effectively with other people. This nursing diagnosis often requires nursing interventions to assist the client in recognizing what he/she needs from personal relationships and how to utilize available resources to appropriately meet those need.

Defining Characteristics


  • Perception of unmet needs in interpersonal relationships
  • Unrealistic expectations of self or others
  • Lack of social support from significant persons
  • Expression of feeling of loneliness
  • Expressions of feeling of depression


  • Isolation or loneliness in interactions with others
  • Inability to compromise
  • Inability or unwillingness to communicate confidently
  • Withdrawal behaviors
  • Negative nonverbal cues/body language
  • Decreased involvement in activities

Related Factors

  • Mental disorder
  • Developmental delays
  • Cultural differences
  • Demographic diversity
  • Insufficient knowledge or understanding of relationships
  • Worry or fear of intimacy
  • Physical limitations

Risk Population

  • Elderly
  • Orphans
  • Children
  • People with mental illnesses
  • People with physical disabilities
  • People with communication impairments
  • People from different cultures/countries

Associated Problems

  • Social isolation
  • Inadequate family functioning
  • Lack of self-esteem
  • Depression
  • Development delays
  • Missed opportunities for learning

Suggestion of Use

  • Provide resources to help foster meaningful relationships
  • Encourage communication between the individual and significant others
  • Facilitate understanding of underlying motives and beliefs on relationships
  • Identify role models and supportive adults
  • Encourage involvement in activities that build social skills

Suggested Alternative NANDA Diagnoses

  • Risk for Impaired Parent/Infant/Child Attachment
  • Risk for Loneliness
  • Risk for Social Isolation
  • Delayed Growth and Development
  • Disturbed Thought Processes

Usage Tips

  • Assess the individual’s ability to establish relationships
  • Intervene when appropriate to enhance social functioning
  • Document data gathered from patient and family
  • Monitor client’s response to interventions
  • Encourage setting goals for increased social interaction

NOC Results

  1. Social Interaction: Interaction exhibited by the individual in an interpersonal relationship.
  2. Family Coping: Ability shown by the family members to perform rules, roles and duties while managing stress.
  3. Interpersonal Relationships: Quality of interpersonal exchanges between two or more persons.
  4. Sexual Expression: Ability demonstrated by an individual to express feelings related to physical and emotional aspects of sexuality.

NIC Interventions

  1. Parenting Education: Systematic instruction for parents to acquire the necessary skills for their parenting role.
  2. Relationship Enhancement Therapy: Therapy that focuses on enabling couples to increase mutual understanding, problem solving and communication within the relationship.
  3. Music Therapy: Use of music to interact with the client to facilitate communication towards achieving his/her personal goals.
  4. Cognitive Stimulation Therapy: Aimed at improving cognitive functions like attention, concentration, memory, language and executive functioning.

Conclusion & FAQ

NANDA Nursing Diagnosis Effective Relationship is a diagnosis created to help nurses assess and evaluate if an individual is able to establish and maintain appropriate relationships with other people successfully or if the person has difficulty in forming relationships due to age, setting, experience, socio-economic, physical, or mental wellbeing.

To properly initiate interventions, nurses must first assess individuals for their current evaluation of the relationship and understand the root causes of the ineffective relationship. This can be done through communication, providing resources, and conducting thorough tests, while also carefully monitoring client responses. It is also important to consider associated problems that could develop due to the lack of adequate relationships.

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