Nursig diagnosis – disturbed body image

Disturbed Body Image
Confusion in mental picture of one’s physical self
• Physiologic changes, behavioral changes, usual patterns of coping
with stress
• Missing body part, not looking or touching a body part, negative
feelings about a body part
• Frequent or disparaging comments about aging and its physical
• Personal rigidity or unwillingness to change
• Actual change in structure or function
• Change in social relationships
• Hiding or overexposing of a body part (intentional or
• Depersonalization of loss by using third person pronouns
• Unintentional or intentional overexposing of body part
• Biophysical
• Cognitive
• Cultural
• Illness
• Surgery
• Trauma
ASSESSMENT FOCUS (Refer to comprehensive assessment parameters.)
• Behavior
• Knowledge
• Sensory perception
The patient will
• Identify physical changes without making disparaging comments.
• Identify at least one positive aspect of aging.
• Use vision or hearing aids appropriately.
• Demonstrate increased flexibility and willingness to consider
lifestyles changes.
• Participate in at least one social activity regularly.
• Exercise and engage in other physical activity at level consistent
with desire, ability, and safety.
• Perform self-care activities to tolerance level.
Body Image; Grief Resolution; Self-Esteem
Determine: Monitor physiologic responses to increased activity level,
including respirations, heart rate and rhythm, and blood pressure.
Assess understanding of the current health problem and desire to
• Sexuality
• Values/beliefs
participate in treatment. Assessment information is helpful in determining
appropriate interventions.
Perform: Perform ADL measures that the patient is unable to
perform for self while promoting as much independence as possible.
Inform: Provide patient with information on appropriate self-care
activities (e.g., maintaining proper diet; bathing as needed; using
alcohol-free skin lotions to combat dryness; exercising appropriately
to maintain muscle mass, bone strength, and cardiorespiratory
health; avoiding fractures related to osteoporosis) to ensure that the
patient will be able to perform self-care measures.
Teach patient about isometric exercises to maintain or increase
muscle tone and joint mobility.
Teach caregivers to assist patient with self-care activities in a way
that maximizes patient’s potential. This enables caregivers to participate
in patient’s care while supporting patient’s independence.
Attend: Provide emotional support and encouragement to improve
patient’s self-concept and promote motivation to perform ADLs.
Assist patient to learn how to perform self-care activities. Begin
slowly and increase daily, as tolerated. Performing self-care activities
will assist patient to regain independence and enhance self-esteem.
Involve patient in planning and decision making. Having the ability
to participate will encourage greater compliance with the plan for
Focus on patient’s strengths and what the patient is able to do for
Encourage patient to engage in social activities with people of all
age groups. Participation once a week will help relieve patient’s
sense of isolation.
Manage: Refer to case manager/social worker to ensure patient
receives long-term assistance with body image problem.
Refer patient to a support group. In the context of a group, the
patient may develop a more positive view of present situation.
Refer for corrective eyewear and hearing aids to address sensory
Active Listening; Body Image Enhancement; Grief Work Facilitation;
Self-Esteem Enhancement
Barba, B. E., & Colemen, P. (2006, August). What are old people for? Journal
of Gerontological Nursing, 32(8), 7–8.

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