Faye Glenn Abdellah - Twenty-One Nursing Problems

"Although Abdellah spoke of the patient-centered approaches, she wrote of nurses identifying and solving specific problems. This identification and classification of problems was called the typology of 21 nursing problems. Abdellah's typology was divided into three areas: (1) the physical, sociological, and emotional needs of the patient; (2) the types of interpersonal relationships between the nurse and the patient; and (3) the common elements of patient care. Adbellah and her colleagues thought the typology would provide a method to evaluate a student's experiences and also a method to evaluate a nurse's competency based on outcome measures." (Tomey & Alligood, Nursing theorists and their work 4th ed., p. 115).

Abdellah's Typology of 21 Nursing Problems:

  1. To promote good hygiene and physical comfort
  2. To promote optimal activity, exercise, rest, and sleep
  3. To promote safety through prevention of accidents, injury, or other trauma and through the prevention of the spread of infection
  4. To maintain good body mechanics and prevent and correct deformities
  5. To facilitate the maintenance of a supply of oxygen to all body cells
  6. To facilitate the maintenance of nutrition of all body cells
  7. To facilitate the maintenance of elimination
  8. To facilitate the maintenance of fluid and electrolyte balance
  9. To recognize the physiologic responses of the body to disease conditions
  10. To facilitate the maintenance of regulatory mechanisms and functions
  11. To facilitate the maintenance of sensory function
  12. To identify and accept positive and negative expressions, feelings, and reactions
  13. To identify and accept the interrelatedness of emotions and organic illness
  14. To facilitate the maintenance of effective verbal and nonverbal communication
  15. To promote the development of productive interpersonal relationships
  16. To facilitate progress toward achievement of personal spiritual goals
  17. To create and maintain a therapeutic environment
  18. To facilitate awareness of self as an individual with varying physical, emotional, and developmental needs
  19. To accept the optimum possible goals in light of physical and emotional limitations
  20. To use community resources as an aid in resolving problems arising from illness
  21. To understand the role of social problems as influencing factors in the cause of illness

Source: Abdellah, F. G., Beland, I. I., Martin, A., & Matheney, R. V. (1960). Patient-centered approaches in nursing. New York, NY: Macmillan.

Abdellah, F. G. (1953). Some trends in nursing education. American Journal of Nursing, 53(7), 841-843.

Abdellah, F. G. (1959). How we look at ourselves. Nursing Outlook, 7(3), 273

Abdellah, F. G. (1972). Evolution of nursing as a profession: Perspective on manpower development. International Nursing Review,19, 219-238.

Abdellah, F. G. (1976). Nurse practioners and nursing practice. American Journal of Public Health, 66(3), 245-246.

Abdellah, F. G. (1979). Better patient care through nursing research (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Macmillan.

Abdellah, F. G. (1986). The nature of nursing science. In L. H. Nicholl (Ed.), Perspectives on nursing theory. Boston, MA: Little, Brown.

Abdellah, F. G. (1987). The federal role in nursing education. Nursing Outlook, 35(5), 224-225.

Abdellah, F. G. (1981). Nursing care of the aged in the United States of America. Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 7(11), 657-663.

Abdellah, F. G. (1990). Self-help groups offer prime areas for nurse researchers. Journal of Professional Nursing, 6(5), 257.

Abdellah, F. G. (1990). Reflections of a recurring theme: Historical perspective of nursing shortage. Nursing Clinics of North America, 25, 509-516.

Abdellah, F. G. (1991). Public policy impacting on nursing care of older adults. In E. M. Baines (Ed.), Perspectives on gerontological nursing. Newbury, CA: Sage.

Abdellah, F. G., Beland, I. I., Martin, A., & Matheney, R. V. (1960). Patient-centered approaches to nursing. New York, NY: MacMillan.

Abdellah, F. G., Beland, I. L., Martin, A., & Matheney, R. V. (1973). New directions in patient-centered nursing. New York, NY: MacMillian.

Abdellah, F. G., & Levin, E. (1957). Developing a measure of patient and personnel satisfaction with nursing care. Nursing Research, 5(2), 100-108.

Abdellah, F. G., & Levine E. (1994). Preparing nursing research in the 21st century: Evolution, methodologies, challenges. New York, NY: Springer.

Halterman, T. D., Dycus, D. K., McClure, E. A., Schmeiser, D. N., Taggart, F. M., & Yancey, R. (1998). Faye Glenn Abdellah: Twenty-One Nursing Problems. In A. M. Tomey & M. R. Alligood (Eds.), Nursing theorists and their work (4th ed., pp. 112-131). St. Louis: Mosby.