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Nursing Diagnosis for Impaired Physical Mobility

Definition:


Limitation in independent, purposeful physical movement of the body or of one or more extremities

Alteration in mobility may be a temporary or more permanent problem. Most disease and rehabilitative states involve some degree of immobility (e.g., as seen in strokes, leg fracture, trauma, morbid obesity, and multiple sclerosis). With the longer life expectancy for most Americans, the incidence of disease and disability continues to grow. And with shorter hospital stays, patients are being transferred to rehabilitation facilities or sent home for physical therapy in the home environment.

Mobility is also related to body changes from aging. Loss of muscle mass, reduction in muscle strength and function, stiffer and less mobile joints, and gait changes affecting balance can significantly compromise the mobility of elderly patients. Mobility is paramount if elderly patients are to maintain any independent living. Restricted movement affects the performance of most activities of daily living (ADLs). Elderly patients are also at increased risk for the complications of immobility. Nursing goals are to maintain functional ability, prevent additional impairment of physical activity, and ensure a safe environment.


Defining Characteristics:
  • Inability to move purposefully within physical environment, including bed mobility, transfers, and ambulation
  • Reluctance to attempt movement
  • Limited range of motion (ROM)
  • Decreased muscle endurance, strength, control, or mass
  • Imposed restrictions of movement including mechanical, medical protocol, and impaired coordination
  • Inability to perform action as instructed

Related Factors:
  • Activity intolerance
  • Perceptual or cognitive impairment
  • Musculoskeletal impairment
  • Neuromuscular impairment
  • Medical restrictions
  • Prolonged bed rest
  • Limited strength
  • Pain or discomfort
  • Depression or severe anxiety

Expected Outcomes
  • Patient performs physical activity independently or with assistive devices as needed.
  • Patient is free of complications of immobility, as evidenced by intact skin, absence of thrombophlebitis, and normal bowel pattern.

NOC Outcomes (Nursing Outcomes Classification)
Suggested NOC Labels
  • Ambulation: Walking
  • Joint Movement: Active
  • Mobility Level

NIC Interventions (Nursing Interventions Classification)
Suggested NIC Labels
  • Exercise Therapy: Ambulation
  • Joint Mobility
  • Fall Precautions
  • Positioning
  • Bed Rest Care

Nursing Interventions

Nursing Diagnosis Intervention

 
 
 

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