Syndrome Diagnosis vs. Risk or Actual Diagnosis

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I'm studying for my first exam and I'm a bit confused about the differences between a Syndrome Diagnosis and other diagnoses. If a patient is given a syndrome diagnosis (such as Risk for Disuse Syndrome), is this just a more complex Risk Diagnosis? Or is it more similar to an actual diagnosis? I'm not sure why I'm having a hard time grasping this, but any outside viewpoints would help!

nurseprnRN

nurseprnRN, BSN, RN

2 Articles; 5,114 Posts

By definition, "syndrome" means "the association of several clinically recognizable features, signs (observed by someone other than the patient), symptoms (reported by the patient), phenomena or characteristics that often occur together, so that the presence of one or more features alerts the healthcare provider to the possible presence of the others." Does that help? If not, please clarify for me and I'll try again.

sarahmac09

sarahmac09

32 Posts

So, for example (I'm using the one in my book), if a patient is immobile due to a medically diagnosed issue, the Syndrome Diagnosis "Risk for Disuse Syndrome" is just the guidelines of things to keep an eye out for like pressure ulcers, constipation, thrombosis, etc.? The patient doesn't necessarily have to have all of the complications?

Also, when I'm documenting the syndrome diagnosis, would I write something along the lines of Risk for Disuse Syndrome r/t immobility caused by broken leg?

Edited by sarahmac09
added a question

nurseprnRN

nurseprnRN, BSN, RN

2 Articles; 5,114 Posts

Let's take a look at that nursing diagnosis and its risk factors. (page 222, for those of you following along at home, in your NANDA-I 2012-2014, which you must use for nursing diagnoses).

Risk for Disuse Syndrome (Domain 4, activity/rest; Class 2, activity/exercise)

Risk factors:

Altered level of consciousness

Mechanical immobilization

Paralysis

Prescribed immobilization

Severe pain

Ok, so those are the approved risk factors for the approved nursing diagnosis, risk for disuse syndrome.

Underneath that list, is an italicized list of complications from immobility, which can include ..... a long list, which I hope you have in front of you. Those are the possibilities, the clinically recognizable features.

No, the patient doesn't have to have all of them to move from being at risk for disuse syndrome to actually having problems associated with those risk factors. But s/he is at risk for them if s/he has one of the listed risk factors. Does that make sense?

sarahmac09

sarahmac09

32 Posts

Yes! For some reason I wasn't understanding the concept of a syndrome diagnosis but having it written out/explained more in depth helps. Thank you!

nurseprnRN

nurseprnRN, BSN, RN

2 Articles; 5,114 Posts

[quote=Sarahhrahh;7509519

Also, when I'm documenting the syndrome diagnosis, would I write something along the lines of Risk for Disuse Syndrome r/t immobility caused by broken leg?

You added this later :)

Yes, absolutely. Perfect. You could even expand it to say, "r/t immobility caused by mechanical immobilization (long-leg cast) or (traction) and pain."

It might be helpful to you to stop thinking of a "syndrome diagnosis" entirely and just think of "diagnosis." It's not a special subcategory or anything.

sarahmac09

sarahmac09

32 Posts

thank you so much!

nurseprnRN

nurseprnRN, BSN, RN

2 Articles; 5,114 Posts

You're quite welcome. Come again!