A 23-year-old patient is diagnosed with testicular cancer and tells the nurse that it is useless to learn about disease management, since there is no cure. The nurse determines that the patient is experiencing which potential problem based on his statement?

Powerlessness

Explanation

•Expressing feelings of having no control over a situation or outcome is showing powerlessness.

•The feeling of powerlessness can limit the patient's ability to understand the diagnosis and the care or decisions necessary to restore health. Other defining characteristics of powerlessness include nonparticipation in care or decision making, passivity, and violent behavior.

•A vague sense of uneasiness and worry are signs of anxiety. Altered health maintenance would demonstrate the inability to seek out help needed to maintain good health. When there is disruption in the cognitive functions and thinking abilities, the person is showing impaired thought processes.

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