Ineffective Coping

Inability to form a valid appraisal of stressors, inadequate choices of practiced responses, and/or inability to use available resources

Defining Characteristics:
  • Lack of goal-directed behavior/resolution of problem, including inability to attend, difficulty with organized information, sleep disturbance, abuse of chemical agents; 
  • decreased use of social support; 
  • use of forms of coping that impede adaptive behavior; 
  • poor concentration; 
  • fatigue; 
  • inadequate problem solving; 
  • verbalized inability to cope or ask for help;
  • inability to meet basic needs; 
  • destructive behavior toward self or others; 
  • inability to meet role expectations; 
  • high illness rate; 
  • change in usual communication patterns; risk taking

Related Factors:
  • Gender differences in coping strategies; 
  • inadequate level of confidence in ability to cope; 
  • uncertainty; 
  • inadequate social support created by characteristics of relationships; 
  • inadequate level of perception of control;
  • inadequate resources available; 
  • high degree of threat; 
  • situational crises; 
  • maturational crises; 
  • disturbance in pattern of tension release; 
  • inadequate opportunity to prepare for stressor;
  • inability to conserve adaptive energies; 
  • disturbance in pattern of appraisal of threat

NOC Outcomes (Nursing Outcomes Classification)

Suggested NOC Labels
  • Coping
  • Decision Making
  • Impulse Control
  • Information Processing
Client Outcomes
  • Verbalizes ability to cope and asks for help when needed
  • Demonstrates ability to solve problems and participates at usual level in society
  • Remains free of destructive behavior toward self or others
  • Communicates needs and negotiates with others to meet needs
  • Discusses how recent life stressors have overwhelmed normal coping strategies
  • Has illness and accident rates not excessive for age and developmental level
NIC Interventions (Nursing Interventions Classification)

Suggested NIC Labels
  • Decision-Making Support

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