An Activity Intolerance nursing diagnosis that can be used when a person has difficulty completing activities due to fatigue, pain, or breathlessness. Activity intolerance may also occur when an individual has difficulty mobilizing due to weakness or stiffness.
Nursing interventions for activity intolerance include providing rest periods, teaching about pacing oneself, and providing support and assistance with activities as needed.
Nanda nursing diagnosis defines activity intolerance as a state in which a person is unable to produce enough physical or mental energy to complete one or more activities of daily living (ADLs).
Causes of Activity Intolerance
- Chronic illnesses: People with chronic conditions such as heart failure, COPD, and kidney disease may experience activity intolerance due to the limitations imposed by their condition.
- Deconditioning: Prolonged bed rest, hospitalization, or physical inactivity can lead to deconditioning of the muscles, resulting in decreased physical capacity.
- Medications: Certain medications, such as beta-blockers and opioids, can cause fatigue and reduced endurance, leading to activity intolerance.
- Injuries: Musculoskeletal injuries, such as fractures or sprains, can cause pain and discomfort that limits physical activity.
- Obesity: Excessive body weight can place a strain on the musculoskeletal system, making physical activity difficult.
- Anxiety and depression: Mental health conditions can lead to fatigue and decreased motivation, making it difficult to engage in physical activity.
- Aging: As we age, our muscle mass decreases and joint mobility may be limited, resulting in decreased physical capacity.
Signs and Symptoms of Activity Intolerance
- Fatigue: Feeling tired and exhausted even after minimal physical activity is a common symptom of activity intolerance.
- Shortness of breath: Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath during physical activity or even at rest can be a sign of decreased physical capacity.
- Muscle weakness: Weakness in the muscles can make it difficult to perform physical tasks that were once easy.
- Dizziness or lightheadedness: Feeling dizzy or lightheaded during physical activity can be a sign of decreased blood flow and oxygen to the brain.
- Increased heart rate: A faster than normal heart rate during physical activity can be a sign of decreased physical capacity.
- Pain: Pain or discomfort during physical activity can be a sign of injury or decreased physical capacity.
- Nausea: Feeling nauseous or sick during physical activity can be a sign of decreased physical capacity.
Activity Intolerance Nursing Diagnosis
Patient Goals for Activity Intolerance
When it comes to activity intolerance, patient goals may vary depending on the underlying cause and severity of their condition. Here are some common patient goals for activity intolerance:
- Increase physical activity tolerance: The primary goal for many patients with activity intolerance is to improve their ability to perform physical activities without experiencing symptoms such as fatigue or shortness of breath.
- Improve quality of life: Patients with activity intolerance may have difficulty performing everyday tasks such as walking up stairs or carrying groceries. Improving physical function can lead to an improved quality of life.
- Reduce dependence on others: For some patients, activity intolerance may make them dependent on others for assistance with basic activities. Increasing physical capacity can help patients become more independent.
- Manage chronic conditions: Patients with chronic conditions that contribute to activity intolerance may have goals to better manage their condition, which in turn can improve their ability to engage in physical activity.
- Prevent further deconditioning: Patients who have been sedentary or bedridden for a prolonged period may have goals to prevent further deconditioning and maintain their current level of physical function.
- Achieve weight loss or weight management goals: Patients who are overweight or obese may have goals to achieve weight loss or weight management goals, which can improve physical function.
Nursing Assessment for Activity Intolerance
- History: The nurse should obtain a comprehensive history, including any medical conditions, medications, and lifestyle habits that may contribute to activity intolerance.
- Symptoms: The nurse should ask about symptoms such as fatigue, shortness of breath, weakness, pain, or dizziness that may occur during physical activity or at rest.
- Functional status: The nurse should assess the patient’s ability to perform activities of daily living (ADLs) such as dressing, bathing, and grooming, as well as instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs) such as shopping, cooking, and managing finances.
- Cardiovascular and respiratory function: The nurse should assess the patient’s heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate, and oxygen saturation levels during rest and with activity.
- Musculoskeletal function: The nurse should assess the patient’s muscle strength, range of motion, and any joint pain or stiffness that may affect physical activity.
- Nutritional status: The nurse should assess the patient’s nutritional status, including any dietary deficiencies that may contribute to activity intolerance.
- Psychological factors: The nurse should assess the patient’s mental health, including any anxiety, depression, or other mood disorders that may affect physical activity.
- Environmental factors: The nurse should assess the patient’s living environment and any barriers to physical activity such as lack of access to safe outdoor spaces or exercise equipment.
Nursing Intervenvtions for Activity Intolerance
- Encourage physical activity: Gradually increasing physical activity can help improve endurance and reduce symptoms of activity intolerance.
- Monitor vital signs: Monitoring vital signs such as heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen saturation levels can help identify any changes in the patient’s condition during physical activity.
- Provide oxygen therapy: For patients with respiratory conditions, supplemental oxygen therapy may be necessary to improve oxygenation during physical activity.
- Administer medications as prescribed: Medications such as bronchodilators or beta-blockers may be prescribed to manage symptoms or improve cardiovascular function during physical activity.
- Provide education on energy conservation: Teaching patients energy conservation techniques can help them manage their physical activity levels and reduce symptoms of activity intolerance.
- Provide nutritional counseling: Proper nutrition is essential for maintaining physical function and endurance. A nutritionist can help patients develop a healthy eating plan.
- Provide psychological support: Patients with activity intolerance may experience anxiety, depression, or frustration related to their condition. Providing emotional support can help patients cope with these feelings and improve their motivation to engage in physical activity.
- Collaborate with physical therapy: Physical therapy can help patients improve their physical function and endurance through exercise and other interventions.
Nursing Care Plans related to Activity Intolerance
Activity Intolerance Anemia
Activity Intolerance COPD
Activity Intolerance Pneumonia
Activity Intolerance Asthma
Activity Intolerance related to CHF
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