Dorothy Spady


The prevention of contractures and the resulting physical deformity is included as one of the basic elements of effective nursing care; therefore, this study was necessary to discover nurses' knowledge relative to the prevention of contractures. The immediate purpose was to find out what basic knowledge the nurse giving direct patient care has in regard to the principles of contracture prevention. The long-range purpose of the study was to improve inservice education, and thus improve nursing care. It was hypothesized that there is a lack of understanding on the part of the bedside nurse of the procedures necessary to prevent contractures and of nursing's significant role in this prevention. The descriptive- survey method was chosen for the study. Fifty bedside nurses, irrespective of educational preparation, were chosen from four. general hospitals in the Inland Empire and questioned. A review of literature and interviews with specialists in the field served as a background of knowledge for the questionnaire used. The findings indicated that nursing personnel may have accepted contractures as part of the patient's illness and are of the opinion that range of motion should not be given by a nurse routinely as part of nursing care, thus weakening their determination to prevent this problem. The conclusions were drawn that although nursing personnel are cognizant of the fact that immobilization is the cause of contractures and that frequent position change is important, there exists a lack of understanding of many of the underlying principles of contracture prevention and effective nursing procedures and equipment that can be utilized in prevention. It is recommended that the principles of contracture prevention be included in hospital inservice programs and that these programs be strengthened and increased to reach all nursing personnel.

LLU Discipline





Graduate School

First Advisor

Joan Winifred Sommer

Second Advisor

Matilda Anabelle Mills

Third Advisor

Vernon L. Nickle

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Contracture; Nursing Care



Page Count

viii; 82

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website


Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives

Included in

Nursing Commons