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Using Nursing Intervention Classification in an Advance Practice Registered Nurse–Led Preventive Model for Adults Aging With Developmental Disabilities


  • Joan Earle Hahn PhD, APRN, GCNS-BC, GNP-BC, CDDN, CNL

    Corresponding author
    1. Eta Iota, Associate Professor, Department of Nursing, College of Health and Human Services, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH, USA
    • Correspondence

      Dr. Joan Earle Hahn, Department of Nursing, University of New Hampshire, 4 Library Way, Durham, NH 03824-3563. E-mail:

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To describe the most frequently reported and the most central nursing interventions in an advance practice registered nurse (APRN)–led in-home preventive intervention model for adults aging with developmental disabilities using the Nursing Intervention Classification (NIC) system.


A descriptive data analysis and a market basket analysis were conducted on de-identified nominal nursing intervention data from two home visits conducted by nurse practitioners (NPs) from October 2010 to June 2012 for 80 community-dwelling adults with developmental disabilities, ages 29 to 68 years.


The mean number of NIC interventions was 4.7 in the first visit and 6.0 in the second visit and last visit. NPs reported 45 different intervention types as classified using a standardized language, with 376 in Visit One and 470 in Visit Two. Approximately 85% of the sample received the Health education intervention. The market basket analysis revealed common pairs, triples, and quadruple sets of interventions in this preventive model. The NIC nursing interventions that occurred together repeatedly were: Health education, Weight management, Nutrition management, Health screening, and Behavior management.


Five NIC interventions form the basis of an APRN-led preventive intervention model for individuals aging with lifelong disability, with health education as the most common intervention, combined with interventions to manage weight and nutrition, promote healthy behaviors, and encourage routine health screening. Less frequently reported NIC interventions suggest the need to tailor prevention to individual needs, whether acute or chronic.

Clinical Relevance

APRNs employing prevention among adults aging with developmental disabilities must anticipate the need to focus on health education strategies for health promotion and prevention as well as tailor and target a patient-centered approach to support self-management of health to promote healthy aging in place. These NIC interventions serve not only as a guide for planning preventive interventions, but for designing nursing curricula to reduce health disparities among people with varying learning needs.