Development of alterations in learning: situational learning disabilities

Document Type


Peer Reviewed


Publication Date


NLM Title Abbreviation

Nurs Diagn

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Nursing diagnosis

PubMed ID



Until now the nursing diagnosis knowledge deficit has served as a label for all teaching/learning situations. This is inadequate and does not effectively give direction to correct intervention(s). The purpose of this article is to present the diagnostic concept, situational learning disability (SLD), a component of Alterations in Learning, which has been identified as an area to be developed in the Knowing pattern of the NANDA taxonomy. A thorough review of the literature and empirical support involving 20 cardiology patients on a 27-bed telemetry step-down unit is provided. The data support the development of two nursing diagnoses: (1) situational learning disability: impaired ability to learn; and (2) situational learning disability: lack of motivation to learn. The proper identification of these diagnoses can assist nurses in discriminating between patients who can learn, those who cannot learn, and those who need adjustments made in order to facilitate their learning. With this information nurses will be able to make decisions concerning the timing and type of intervention that is most appropriate.


Adult, Aged, Attitude to Health, Female, Humans, Internal-External Control, Male, Middle Aged, Models, Psychological, Motivation, Nursing Care/methods, Nursing Diagnosis/standards, Patient Education as Topic, Teaching/methods

Published Article/Book Citation

Nursing diagnosis, 1:4 (1990) pp.134-146.

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