Neurological Question #5


The nurse is caring for a client diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The client’s family consists of two children ages 8 years of age and 16 years of age and a spouse. Which of the following nursing diagnoses will have priority?


  1. Self-care deficit related to paralysis
    • Rationale:
  2. Altered nutrition: less than body requirements related to inability to feed self
    • Rationale:
  3. Impaired physical mobility related to decreased motor function and loss of muscle tone
    • Rationale:
  4. Anticipatory grieving related to inevitable death
    • Rationale:



ALS is a fatal neurological disease manifested by loss of motor neurons that affects muscle function. This includes respiratory function. Most deaths occur as a result of respiratory failure that progresses slowly. Since diagnosis represents a change from live to end result of death, the anticipatory grieving associated with the disease will be a dominate theme among family, the client, and the interdisciplinary healthcare team.

Learning Outcomes

Test Taking Tip

Video Rationale