Risk Of Urinary Retention

Risk Of Urinary Retention .

NANDA Nursing Diagnosis: Risk Of Urinary Retention

Urinary retention is a condition in which one finds it hard to urinate or empty the bladder completely. It can be caused by a variety of conditions, including obstruction of the bladder, nerve damage, and use of certain drugs.

NANDA Nursing Diagnosis Definition

Risk for urinary retention is defined as an increased vulnerability to an inability to voluntarily urinate due to an existing physiological or psychological condition.

Defining Characteristics


  • Reported abdominal discomfort
  • Increased urinary frequency
  • Difficulty initiating or stopping urination
  • Inability to empty bladder completely


  • Fever
  • Excessive urinary output
  • Urgency of urination
  • Distention of abdomen

Related Factors

Certain factors such as anatomical abnormalities, use of certain medications, advanced age, and neurological disorders can increase the risk of urinary retention.

Risk Population

Patients who are at risk for urinary retention include those with enlarged prostate, diabetes, spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, or stroke; those using medications such as anticholinergics and alpha-receptor blockers; and those over the age of 65.

Associated Problems

Associated symptoms of urinary retention can include pain, fever, abdominal distention, urgency of urination, or difficulty initiating or stopping urination.

Suggestions for Use

When assessing patients for risk of urinary retention, it is important to review their medical history and current medications, assess urine output, and monitor for signs and symptoms of associated problems.

Suggested Alternative NANDA Diagnoses

  • Ineffective Health Maintenance
  • Deficient Fluid Volume
  • Perceived Risk for Falling
  • Risk for Infection
  • Risk for Impaired Skin Integrity

Usage Tips

  • It is important to differentiate between incomplete emptying and urinary retention as these have different treatments.
  • Be sure to assess for other respiratory or musculoskeletal issues that could be contributing to impaired bladder emptying.
  • Use recent laboratory findings to identify possible sources of urinary retention.
  • Encourage the patient to talk about any fear or anxiety related to the urinary condition.
  • Encourage lifestyle modifications that may reduce the risk of retention.

NOC Results

  • Bladder Control: Ability to control the release of urinary and fecal fluids.
  • Fluid Balance: Balancing intake and output of fluids to maintain homeostasis.
  • Stress Tolerance: Ability to cope with stressors.

Each outcome above provides a desired goal for the patient to reach for optimum health.

NIC Interventions

  • Bladder Retraining: Systematically increasing and decreasing intervals between voiding to increase bladder capacity and improve bladder emptying.
  • Biofeedback: Training to use the body’s responses consciously, such as the bladder sphincter contraction.
  • Activity Therapy: Facilitating physical activity to encourage circulation, respiration, and correct body mechanics.

These interventions can help the patient manage risk of urinary retention and improve overall bladder control and functioning.


NANDA nursing diagnosis: Risk of Urinary Retention can provide valuable insight into a patient’s chance of experiencing bladder difficulties. As a nurse, it is important to assess for the defining characteristics, identify associated factors, and develop an individualized plan of care. With proper assessment, the risk of urinary retention can be reduced, thereby improving patient outcomes.


  • What are the common signs and symptoms associated with urinary retention?
    • The common signs and symptoms associated with urinary retention includes abdominal distention, fever, sensation of incomplete bladder emptying, urgency of urination and difficulty starting or stopping the flow of urine.
  • What factors can increase the risk of urinary retention?
    • Factors such as physical obstructions, advanced age, neurological disorders and use of certain medications can increase the risk of urinary retention.
  • What are some Nursing Interventions for urinary retention?
    • Interventions for urinary retention include bladder retraining, biofeedback and activities to improve body mechanics.

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