Article Summary: Caring for Adults With Impaired Physical Mobility

Published: 2021/11/04
Number of words: 846

Caring For Adults with Impaired Physical Mobility by Crawford and Harris provides a review for the care protocol for people with disabilities. Primarily, the authors are keen to provide a background review of mobility difficulties among adults. The article is presented in sections that include an introduction, a review of populations at risk, the nursing assessments that are related to mobility assessment, the required tools for assessment and the key interventions necessary to managed impaired physical mobility among adults. Critically, each of the sections applies a cross sectional review that is dedicated to the examination of evidence from previous studies that relate to the assessment and management of impaired physical mobility in adults.

The breakdown of the article into sections provides a progressive reading for the audience. The introductory sections of the paper ensure that the reader has a concise understanding of ‘mobility’ in the context that is referenced within the paper. The authors are keen to provide a definition of terms. “Mobility” is defined from the perception of both gross motor control and movement, as well as the complex coordination of the different motion types. Therefore, the authors assert that anything that has a disruptive effect on any form of motion or the coordination of the various forms of complex motions a hazard. Therefore, the article is dedicated to the examination of the various reasons that can cause impaired mobility in adults and the nursing interventions that could be implemented to mitigate any further complications from such impairments.

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The article points that mobility impairment can happen to people of all ages. However, those with chronic illnesses, chronic pain and a history of traumatic injury are cited to be at the highest risk of developing mobility impairment. In this review of risk factors, diseases that affect the peripheral and the central nervous system together with congenital anomalies are among the largest risk factors. The researchers further point out the impairments can happen due to a single factor or due to multiple factors that have a complex interplay in an individual.

The effects of impaired physical mobility are also examined within the paper. While the authors highlight the impact of these effects through the course of the paper, the “Multiple Hazards” sections particularly discusses these impacts at length. The authors provide that impairment presents the affected individuals with multiple negative consequences. Particularly, there is a physical manifestation with the loss of function in most of the physically impaired regions of the body. Another key effect that is referenced is the potential for psychosocial manifestations in mood. Particularly, adults with impaired physical mobility are reported to have a higher propensity for anger, anxiety and altered verbal communication ability. These effects are relatable to altered self-perception that may lead to depression. The assessment of impaired physical mobility can be done using tools designed to determine motion in specific body sections. For instance, the Timed Up and Go Test is effective in the assessment of balance, mobility, fall risk and walking ability. Therefore, it is easily applicable for generalized motor function tests.

The assessment and review of the different body function tests should be accompanied with specific systematic reviews. The body systems that can be reviewed in relation to impaired physical mobility include the cardiovascular, respiratory and the gastrointestinal systems to determine the impact of physical mobility impairment on these body systems. Once the complex interactions are understood, the researchers argue that there is a need to implement specific interventions. The article provides that interventions often depend on the underlying cause of the physical mobility impairment. Therefore, to be able to minimize the complications that are caused by the impairments, interventions such as the surgical interventions, rehabilitative exercises and pharmacological interventions might be effective in reducing the level of complications. Further, the researchers suggest that that inter-professional collaboration in the management of such adults is crucial to ensure that they get the best form of care.

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Through the course of the article, the researchers provide reference to multiple studies that support their observations assertions. In their claim that early mobilization is effective in ensuring a better prognosis for patients suffering from trauma and burns within the ICU, they cite a cohort study by Clark, Lowman, Griffin, Matthews and Reiff (2013). Further, they also provide that the management of motor impairment in these groups, there is a need for patient education and psychological support to help them better cope with their condition.

The article presents information on the management of physical impairment of mobility among adults. Particularly, it serves as an informative piece for practicing nurses. Therefore, the evidence provided in the article is crucial in improving the care outcomes for patients with physical mobility impairment due to different causative factors. However, the paper does not provide a specific study design for the acquisition of evidence published. This might be the key limitation in the application of evidence provided within the article.


Crawford, A., & Harris, H. (2016). Caring for adults with impaired physical mobility. Nursing202046(12), 36-41.

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