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Structure of Diagnoses

NANDA International (NANDA-I) defines a nursing diagnosis in the following way: "A nursing diagnosis is a clinical judgment about individual, family, or community experiences / responses to actual or potential health problems / life processes." The NANDA-I system of nursing diagnosis provides for four categories.

  1. Actual diagnosis - "A clinical judgment about human experience/responses to health conditions/life processes that exist in an individual, family, or community". An example of an actual nursing diagnosis is: Sleep deprivation.
  2. Risk diagnosis - "Describes human responses to health conditions / life processes that may develop in a vulnerable individual / family / community. It is supported by risk factors that contribute to increased vulnerability." An example of a risk diagnosis is: Risk for shock.
  3. Health promotion diagnosis - "A clinical judgment about a person’s, family’s or community’s motivation and desire to increase wellbeing and actualize human health potential as expressed in the readiness to enhance specific health behaviors, and can be used in any health state." An example of a health promotion diagnosis is: Readiness for enhanced nutrition.
  4. Syndrome diagnosis - "A clinical judgment describing a specific cluster of nursing diagnoses that occur together, and are best addressed together and through similar interventions." An example of a syndrome diagnosis is: Relocation stress syndrome.
Herdman, TH (Ed.) (2009). Nursing diagnoses: definitions and classification 2009 - 2011. Wiley-Blackwell: Singapore.

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