Perceived environmental barriers to outdoor mobility and feelings of loneliness among community-dwelling older people

Rantakokko, Merja, Iwarsson, Susanne, Vahaluoto, Satu, Portegijs, Erja, Viljanen, Anne and Rantanen, Taina (2014) Perceived environmental barriers to outdoor mobility and feelings of loneliness among community-dwelling older people. The Journals of Gerontology: Series A, 69 12: 1562-1568. doi:10.1093/gerona/glu069


Author Rantakokko, Merja
Iwarsson, Susanne
Vahaluoto, Satu
Portegijs, Erja
Viljanen, Anne
Rantanen, Taina
Title Perceived environmental barriers to outdoor mobility and feelings of loneliness among community-dwelling older people
Journal name The Journals of Gerontology: Series A   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1758-535X
1079-5006
Publication date 2014-01-01
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1093/gerona/glu069
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 69
Issue 12
Start page 1562
End page 1568
Total pages 7
Place of publication Cary, NC, United States
Publisher Oxford University Press
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Background: We examined the association between perceived environmental barriers to outdoor mobility and loneliness among community-dwelling older people. In addition, we studied whether walking difficulties and autonomy in participation outdoors affected this association.

Methods: Cross-sectional analyses of face-to-face home interview data with 848 people aged 75–90 years (mean age: 80.1 years; 62% women) gathered within the “Life-Space Mobility in Old Age” (LISPE) project. Self-reports of loneliness, environmental barriers to outdoor mobility, and difficulties in walking 2 km were obtained with structured questionnaires. Autonomy in participation outdoors was assessed with the “Impact on Participation and Autonomy” questionnaire.

Results: Altogether, 28% of participants reported experiencing loneliness sometimes or often. These participants also reported more difficulties in walking 2 km, restricted autonomy in participation outdoors, and more environmental barriers to outdoor mobility than people not experiencing loneliness. Snowy and icy winter conditions (odds ratio: 1.59 [95% confidence interval: 1.15–2.20]), long distances to services (odds ratio: 1.57 [1.00–2.46]), and hills in the nearby environment (odds ratio: 1.49 [1.05–2.12]) significantly increased the odds for loneliness, even after adjustments for walking difficulties, autonomy in participation outdoors, perceived financial situation, living alone, and health. Path modeling revealed that environmental barriers increased loneliness either through direct association or indirectly through restricted autonomy in participation outdoors.

Conclusions: Prospective studies should investigate whether removing environmental barriers to outdoor mobility improves autonomy in participation outdoors and alleviates loneliness among older people. 
Keyword Loneliness
Environment
Aging
Autonomy
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ
Additional Notes Published online ahead of print: 26 May 2014.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Non HERDC
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School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work Publications
 
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Created: Thu, 26 Jun 2014, 21:11:10 EST by Vicki Percival on behalf of School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work