Home Health Blogger

OASIS M1720: Help Patients Manage Anxiety

Posted by Melissa Cott on Nov 7, 2023

If the patient reports anxiety and its noted on the OASIS assessment, make sure you include anxiety management in your careplan.

Your patient may be anxious and/or depressed because illness prevents participation in activities. While anxiety is an understandable response to illness it is not inevitable. With support and counseling a patient can cope with the anxiety.

Recognizing Anxiety

  • Excessive worry about several events or activities for more than half a day.
  • Trouble controlling anxious feelings
  • The presence of three or more of the following symptoms, some of which are present for over half a day:
    • Feeling restless, edgy, keyed up
    • Tiring easilyDownload Patient Teaching Sheet for  Managing/Controlling Anxiety
    • Trouble concentrating
    • Irritability
    • Increased muscle tension
    • Trouble sleeping (initial insomnia or restless, unsatisfying sleep)
    • The anxiety and worry aren't suggestive of another mood disorder


 Teaching the patient how to cope with anxiety

  • Keep a journal.  Studies show that when patients keep a log or journal about their symptoms before and after treatment it helps identify the interventions that are effective. Keep a  log of your response to treatments to see if your symptoms are getting better. By tracking this information your doctor, home health nurse and/or therapists will know if they want to keep or make changes to medications and exercises.
  • Advise the patient to avoid making major life decisions until s/he is effectively coping with anxiety.
  • Avoid alcohol.
  • Exercise daily. Encourage exercise even if it is only with a few body parts. Mild exercise 30 minutes a day may have a positive effect on anxiety. If s/he misses a day, tell her/him not to worry and to simply do it the next day.
  • Be social. Encourage the patient to be around people, even if s/he is not feeling up to it. The illness may make the patient feel withdrawn, but counsel them to not let it govern their behavior. Encourage the patient to call or visit a friend.
  • Maintain nutrition and personal hygiene. Help the patient gain a sense of control by encouraging her/him to care for her/himself as much as possible and make daily decisions such as what to wear
  • Encourage the patient to express feelings and listening attentively an make no judgments.  


6 Practical Tips for Caregivers of Alzheimer's

‘Etiology’ and ‘Manifestation’ Home Health Coding on OASIS

3 Personal Safety Policies You Need for Clinicians Making Home Visits