Unable to concentrate
The ability to concentrate is a function of mental status and cognition. Impairment of the ability to concentrate can be a problem of neurologi...

Table of Contents
powered by healthline

Average Ratings

Definition

Unable to concentrate is the inability to maintain attention and focus on a task or being easily distracted.

Alternative Names

Can’t concentrate, concentration difficulty, concentration impairment, difficulty concentrating, disturbed mental concentration, impaired concentration, inability to concentrate, inability to maintain attention, lack of concentration, lacks concentration, mental concentration difficulty, poor concentration.

Synopsis

The ability to concentrate is a function of mental status and cognition. Impairment of the ability to concentrate can be a problem of neurologic or psychiatric origin or a combination of behavior and mentation. The clinician will need to determine if poor concentration is a problem of recent onset or an established pattern of behavior.

Associated Diagnoses

  • Hunger
  • ADHD
  • Adjustment disorder
  • Alcohol related disorders
  • Acute stress disorder
  • Anxiety
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Concussion
  • Delirium
  • Dementia
  • Dysthymia
  • Insomnia
  • Lead poisoning
  • Major depression
  • Post concussion syndrome
  • Postpartum depression
  • Side effects of psychoactive medications
  • Hashimoto’s disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Fragile X Syndrome

Diagnosis and Treatment

Changes in the ability to concentrate should be evaluated by a physician and may require referral to a specialist (neurologist, psychiatrist, psychologist, behavioral therapist, pediatrician) for further diagnostic work-up and treatment. Diagnostic studies may include laboratory studies, brain scans and EEG. Treatment will depend on the underlying condition. Cognitive Development Intervention strategies may be implemented as part of Individual Family Service Plans (IFSP) and Individual Educational Plans (IEP) to enhance cognitive development. Medications, cognitive-behavioral strategies are possible treatment options, depending on the diagnosis.

Written by: JC Jones MA, RN
Reviewed by: Paul Auerbach, MD
Written: October 4, 2007
Last Updated: October 31, 2007
Published By: Healthline Networks Inc.
Licensed from
Top of page
General Drug Tools
General Drug Tools view all tools
Tools for
Healthy Living
Tools for Healthy Living view all tools
Search Tools
Search Tools view all tools
Insurance Plan Tools
Insurance Plan Tools view all tools