Contractures in Frail Nursing Home Residents

Laura M. Wagner, Elizabeth Capezuti, Barbara L. Brush, Carolyn Clevenger, Marie Boltz, Susan Renz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Contractures are a common but preventable consequence of prolonged physical immobility among nursing home residents. Significant for their associated costs in institutions rendering care to frail elder residents, contractures further reduce mobility and increase the risk of other outcomes of decreased mobility, such as pressure ulcers. This secondary analysis examines the prevalence of contractures in 273 residents who participated in an interventional study focusing on reducing restrictive siderails. Almost two thirds of the participants had at least 1 contracture, with the most common locations being the shoulder and knee. Presence of pain and being non-White were significant predictors of contracture presence. This study highlights the high prevalence of contractures, the underlying factors associated with them, and the need to prevent or minimize contracture formation, including the role restorative nursing care plays in this avoidable condition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)259-266
Number of pages8
JournalGeriatric Nursing
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Gerontology


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