Predictors of real-life mobility in community-dwelling older adults: an exploration based on a comprehensive framework for analyzing mobility

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Background: Reduced mobility is associated with a plethora of adverse outcomes. To support older adults in maintaining their independence, it first is important to have deeper knowledge of factors that impact on their mobility. Based on a framework that encompasses demographical, environmental, physical, cognitive, psychological and social domains, this study explores predictors of different aspects of real-life mobility in community-dwelling older adults. Methods: Data were obtained in two study waves with a total sample of n = 154. Real-life mobility (physical activity-based mobility and life-space mobility) was assessed over one week using smartphones. Active and gait time and number of steps were calculated from inertial sensor data, and life-space area, total distance, and action range were calculated from GPS data. Demographic measures included age, gender and education. Physical functioning was assessed based on measures of cardiovascular fitness, leg and handgrip strength, balance and gait function; cognitive functioning was assessed based on measures of attention and executive function. Psychological and social assessments included measures of self-efficacy, depression, rigidity, arousal, and loneliness, sociableness, perceived help availability, perceived ageism and social networks. Maximum temperature was used to assess weather conditions on monitoring days. Results: Multiple regression analyses indicated just physical and psychological measures accounted for significant but rather low proportions of variance (5-30%) in real-life mobility. Strength measures were retained in most of the regression models. Cognitive and social measures did not remain as significant predictors in any of the models. Conclusions: In older adults without mobility limitations, real-life mobility was associated primarily with measures of physical functioning. Psychological functioning also seemed to play a role for real-life mobility, though the associations were more pronounced for physical activity-based mobility than life-space mobility. Further factors should be assessed in order to achieve more conclusive results about predictors of real-life mobility in community-dwelling older adults.
ZeitschriftEuropean Review of Aging and Physical Activity
Seiten (von - bis)19
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 03.11.2019

ID: 5012555

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