6 Schizophrenia Nursing Care Plans


In this guide are nursing care plans for schizophrenia including six nursing diagnosis. Nursing care plan goals for schizophrenia involves recognizing schizophrenia, establishing trust and rapport, maximizing the level of functioning, assessing positive and negative symptoms, assessing medical history and evaluating support system.

Schizophrenia refers to a group of severe, disabling psychiatric disorders marked by withdrawal from reality, illogical thinking, possible delusions and hallucinations, and emotional, behavioral, or intellectual disturbance.

The most common early warning signs of schizophrenia are usually detected until adolescence. These include depression, social withdrawal, unable to concentrate, hostility or suspiciousness, poor expressions of emotions, insomnia, lack of personal hygiene, or odd beliefs.

Nursing Care Plans

Here are six (6) nursing diagnosis for schizophrenia that you can use for your nursing care plan (NCP):

  1. Impaired Verbal Communication
  2. Impaired Social Interaction
  3. Disturbed Sensory Perception: Auditory/Visual
  4. Disturbed Thought Process
  5. Defensive Coping
  6. Interrupted Family Process

Interrupted Family Process

The presence of a mental disorder such as schizophrenia greatly has an impact on the roles and interaction within the family.


Nursing Diagnosis

Interrupted Family Process

Related Factors

Here are the common related factors for interrupted family process that can be as your “related to” in your schizophrenia nursing diagnosis statement:

  • Developmental crisis or transition.
  • Family role shift.
  • Physical or mental disorder of a family member.
  • Shift in health status of a family member.
  • Situational crisis or transition.

Defining Characteristics

The commonly used subjective and objective data or nursing assessment cues (signs and symptoms) that could serve as your “as evidenced by” for this nursing care plan for schizophrenia:

  • Changes in the expression of conflict in the family
  • Changes in communication patterns
  • Changes in mutual support
  • Changes in participation in decision making
  • Changes in participation in problem-solving
  • Changes in stress reduction behavior
  • Knowledge deficit regarding community and health care support
  • Knowledge deficit regarding the disease and what is happening with ill family member (might believe the client is more capable than they are)
  • Inability to meet the needs of family and significant others (physical, emotional, spiritual)

Desired Outcomes

Expected outcomes or patient goals for interrupted family process nursing diagnosis:

  • Family and/or significant others will recount in some detail the early signs and symptoms of relapse in their ill family member, and know whom to contact in case.
  • Family and/or significant others will state and have written information identifying the signs of potential relapse and whom to contact before discharge.
  • Family and/or significant others will state that they have received needed support from community and agency resources that offer education, support, coping skills training, and/or social network development (psychoeducational approach).
  • Family and/or significant others will state what medications can do for their ill family member, the side effects and toxic effects of the drugs, and the need for adherence to medication at least 2 to 3 days before discharge.
  • Family and/or significant others will name and have a complete list of community supports for ill family members and supports for all members of the family at least 2 days before the discharge.
  • Family and/or significant others will attend at least one family support group (single family, multiple family) within 4 days from onset of acute episode.
  • Family and/or significant others will be included in the discharge planning along with the client.
  • Family and/or significant others will meet with nurse/physician/social worker the first day of hospitalization and begin to learn about neurologic/biochemical disease, treatment, and community resources.
  • Family and/or significant others will problem-solve, with the nurse, two concrete situations within the family that all would like to discharge.
  • Family and/or significant others will recount in some detail the early signs and symptoms of relapse in their ill family member, and know whom to contact.
  • Family and/or significant others will demonstrate problem-solving skills for handling tensions and misunderstanding within the family member.
  • Family and/or significant others will have access to family/multiple family support groups and psychoeducational training.
  • Family and/or significant others will know of at least two contact people when they suspect potential relapse.
  • Family and/or significant others will discuss the disease (schizophrenia) knowledgeably:
    • Know about community resources (e.g., help with self-care activities, private respite).
    • Support the ill family member in maintaining optimum health.
    • Understand the need for medical adherence.

Nursing Interventions and Rationale

In this section are the nursing actions or interventions and their rationale or scientific explanation for interrupted family process (nursing diagnosis for schizophrenia):

Nursing InterventionsRationale
Assess the family members’ current level of knowledge about the disease and medications used to treat the disease.Family might have misconceptions and misinformation about schizophrenia and treatment, or no knowledge at all. Teach client’s and family’s level of understanding and readiness to learn.
Inform the client family in clear, simple terms about psychopharmacologic therapy: dose, duration, indication, side effects, and toxic effects. Written information should be given to the client and family members as well.Understanding of the disease and the treatment of the disease encourages greater family support and client adherence.
Identify the family’s ability to cope (e.g., experience of loss, caregiver burden, needed supports).Family’s need must be addressed to stabilize the family unit.
Teach the client and family the warning symptoms of relapse.Rapid recognition of early warning symptoms can help ward off potential relapse when immediate medical attention is sought.
Provide information on disease and treatment strategies at the family’s level of understanding.Meet family members’ needs for information.
Provide an opportunity for the family to discuss feelings related to ill family member and identify their immediate concerns.Nurses and staff can best intervene when they understand the family’s experience and needs.
Provide information on client and family community resources for the client and family after discharge: day hospitals, support groups, organizations, psychoeducational programs, community respite centers (small homes), etc.Schizophrenia is an overwhelming disease for both the client and the family. Groups, support groups, and psychoeducational centers can help:

  • Access caring
  • Access resources
  • Access support
  • Develop family skills
  • Improve quality of life for all family members
  • Minimizes isolation


Recommended Resources

Recommended nursing diagnosis and nursing care plan books and resources.

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See also

Other recommended site resources for this nursing care plan:


Other care plans for mental health and psychiatric nursing:

References and Sources

Here are references and sources for schizophrenia:

  • Bartels, S. J., Mueser, K. T., & Miles, K. M. (1997). A comparative study of elderly patients with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder in nursing homes and the community. Schizophrenia Research27(2-3), 181-190. [Link]
Paul Martin is a registered nurse with a bachelor of science in nursing since 2007. Having worked as a medical-surgical nurse for five years, he handled different kinds of patients and learned how to provide individualized care to them. Now, his experiences working in the hospital is carried over to his writings to help aspiring students achieve their goals. He is currently working as a nursing instructor and have a particular interest in nursing management, emergency care, critical care, infection control, and public health. As a writer at Nurseslabs, his goal is to impart his clinical knowledge and skills to students and nurses helping them become the best version of themselves and ultimately make an impact in uplifting the nursing profession.
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