Response to perceived threat that is consciously recognized as a danger

Defining Characteristics:

Report of:
  • apprehension; 
  • increased tension; 
  • decreased self-assurance; 
  • excitement; 
  • being scared; 
  • jitteriness; 
  • dread; 
  • alarm; 
  • terror; 
  • panic
  • Identifies object of fear; 
  • stimulus believed to be a threat; 
  • diminished productivity, learning ability, problem-solving ability
  • Increased alertness; 
  • avoidance or attack behaviors; 
  • impulsiveness; 
  • narrowed focus on "it" (i.e., the focus of the fear)
  • Increased pulse; 
  • anorexia; 
  • nausea; 
  • vomiting; 
  • diarrhea; 
  • muscle tightness; 
  • fatigue; 
  • increased respiratory rate and shortness of breath; 
  • pallor; 
  • increased perspiration; 
  • increased systolic blood pressure; 
  • pupil dilation; 
  • dry mouth

Related Factors: 
  • Natural/innate origin (e.g., sudden noise, height, pain, loss of physical support); 
  • learned response (e.g., conditioning, modeling from or identification with others); 
  • separation from support system in potentially stressful situation (e.g., hospitalization, hospital procedures); 
  • unfamiliarity with environmental experience(s); 
  • language barrier; 
  • sensory impairment; 
  • innate releasers (neurotransmitters); 
  • phobic stimulus
NOC Outcomes (Nursing Outcomes Classification)

Suggested NOC Labels
  • Fear Control
Client Outcomes
  • Verbalizes known fears
  • States accurate information about the situation
  • Identifies, verbalizes, and demonstrates those coping behaviors that reduce own fear
  • Reports and demonstrates reduced fear
NIC Interventions (Nursing Interventions Classification)

Suggested NIC Labels
  • Coping Enhancement

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