Maintaining and improving physical function in elders.

Jill A. Bennett

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


This chapter reviews 60 published research reports about maintaining and improving physical function in elders. Reports were identified through searches of MEDLINE and CINAHL using the following search terms: Activities of Daily Living, aged, nursing care, nurse-patient relations, geriatric nursing, nursing assessment, geriatric assessment, behavior therapy, disability evaluation, exercise, and physical. Reports were included if published in English between 1985 and 2000, if conducted in adults over age 60, and if the first author was a nurse or the reported intervention was implemented by nurses. Descriptive and experimental studies of physical function in elders were included. The results of this synthesis showed that nurse scientists have developed new instruments to measure physical function, including scales sensitive to changes in physical function caused by dementia. Nursing studies have described many of the physical and psychological factors associated with poor physical function in elders, though environmental factors and ethnic differences in physical function merit further study. Many nurse scientists are currently investigating behavioral interventions, exercise interventions, and changes in nursing care that could improve the physical function of both community-dwelling elders and those who live in residential facilities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-33
Number of pages31
JournalAnnual review of nursing research
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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