Deficient Knowledge

Deficient knowledge is the absence or deficiency of cognitive information to a specific subject. In the case of self-administration of drugs the patient lacks sufficient knowledge to administer the drug regimen correctly. It may also relate to a lack of interest in learning, cognitive limitation, or the inability to remember.

Most patients, at least in the initial treatment stages, have a lack of knowledge about the drug, its possible adverse reactions, and the times and method of administration. At times, the patient may have a lack of knowledge about the disease condition. In these situations, the nurse addresses the specific deficient knowledge (ie, adverse reactions, disease process, method of administration, and so on) in words that the patient can understand. It is important for the nurse to first determine what information the patient is lacking and then plan a teaching session that directly pertains to the specific area of need. (See Chap. 5 for more information on patient education.) If the patient lacks the cognitive ability to learn the information concerning self-administration of drugs, then one or more of the caregivers should be taught to administer the proper treatment regimen.

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