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Many terms provided here, although having broader meanings outside patient mobility skills, are defined within the context of the material in this book.


  • Accessory motion Motion within the joint that becomes evident with the application of overpressure at the end of a joint’s passive range of motion (PROM); joint play.

  • Active assisted range of motion (AAROM) Movement of a joint created both internally and by some external assistance.

  • Active range of motion (AROM) Movement of a joint created by internal force.

  • Acute pain Recent-onset pain generally associated with activation of nociceptors in response to tissue damage or the perceived threat of tissue damage and that resolves with tissue healing or with the resolution of the perceived threat.

  • Ageism Stereotyping of and discriminating against people, especially older adults, solely based on their age.

  • Agonist muscle Muscle whose contraction provides the primary force to create or control a movement.

  • Air-assisted device A lateral transfer mattress in which air is forced out many small holes in the bottom of the mattress, creating a thin layer of air that reduces friction between the two transfer surfaces.

  • Airborne Precautions Guidelines recommended, in addition to Standard Precautions, for reducing the risk of airborne transmission of infectious agents.

  • Airborne transmission Infection transmission that occurs by dissemination of small residue particles (5 µm or smaller in size) containing infectious agents that are then inhaled or deposited on a susceptible host.

  • AMAP/ANAP Guiding principle of mobility in context—as much as possible, as normally as possible—encouraging patients’ functional independence.

  • Ambulation A term commonly used in rehabilitation to denote walking with or without an assistive device and with or without physical assistance from another person.

  • Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) Civil rights law prohibiting discrimination against people in all areas of public life; aspects of the ADA mandating accessibility are operationalized in the ADA Accessibility Guidelines.

  • Antagonist muscle Muscle whose passive lengthening or active contraction opposes contraction of the agonist but to a lesser degree; agonist and antagonist may work together to generate controlled movements.

  • Apnea Absence of breathing; may be temporary, especially during sleep

  • Appendicular skeleton The bones of the body’s limbs, including the supporting bones of the shoulder and pelvic girdles.

  • Auscultation Listening to the internal sounds made by the body’s heart, lungs, or other organs, usually using a stethoscope.

  • Axial skeleton The bones along the body’s long axis, including the bones of the head and spine.


  • Base of support (BoS) The contact area of an object with its supporting surface.

  • Bed mobility Movements from one position in bed to another, such as scooting up in bed, rolling from supine to sidelying, and moving from supine to sitting at the edge of the bed.

  • Bendopnea Shortness of breath experienced when bending forward.

  • Biarticular muscle Muscle that crosses at least two joints; for example, the hamstring crosses both the hip and knee joint. Also called a two-joint muscle.

  • Bias A tendency, inclination, ...

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