Fear of moving outdoors and development of outdoor walking difficulty in older people

Rantakokko, Merja, Mänty, Minna, Iwarsson, Susanne, Törmäkangas, Timo, Leinonen, Raija, Heikkinen, Eino and Rantanen, Taina (2009) Fear of moving outdoors and development of outdoor walking difficulty in older people. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 57 4: 634-640. doi:10.1111/j.1532-5415.2009.02180.x


Author Rantakokko, Merja
Mänty, Minna
Iwarsson, Susanne
Törmäkangas, Timo
Leinonen, Raija
Heikkinen, Eino
Rantanen, Taina
Title Fear of moving outdoors and development of outdoor walking difficulty in older people
Journal name Journal of the American Geriatrics Society   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0002-8614
1532-5415
Publication date 2009-04-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2009.02180.x
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 57
Issue 4
Start page 634
End page 640
Total pages 7
Place of publication Hoboken, NJ, United States
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Objectives: To study which individual characteristics and environmental factors correlate with fear of moving outdoors and whether fear of moving outdoors predicts development of mobility limitation. DESIGN: Observational prospective cohort study and cross-sectional analyses.

Setting: Community and research center.

Participants: Seven hundred twenty-seven community-living people aged 75 to 81 were interviewed at baseline, of whom 314 took part in a 3.5-year follow-up.

Measurements: Fear of moving outdoors and its potential individual and environmental correlates were assessed at baseline. Perceived difficulties in walking 0.5 km and 2 km were assessed twice a year over a 3.5-year period.

Results: At baseline, 65% of the women and 29% of the men reported fear of moving outdoors. Poor socioeconomic status; musculoskeletal diseases; slow walking speed; and the presence of poor street conditions, hills in the nearby environment, and noisy traffic correlated with fear of moving outdoors. At the first 6-month follow-up, participants with fear of moving outdoors had more than four times the adjusted risk (odds ratio (OR)=4.6, 95% confidence interval (CI)=1.92-11.00) of developing difficulties in walking 0.5 km and a three times greater adjusted risk (OR=3.10, 95% CI=1.49-6.46) for developing difficulty in walking 2 km compared with those without fear. The difference in the prevalence of walking difficulties remained statistically significant over the 3.5-year follow-up (P=.02 and P=.009, respectively).

Conclusion: Fear of moving outdoors is common in older adults and increases the risk of developing self-reported difficulties in walking 0.5 km and 2 km. Knowledge about individual and environmental factors underlying fear of moving outdoors and finding ways to alleviate fear of moving outdoors are important for community planning and prevention of disability.  
Keyword Aging
Environment
Fear of moving outdoors
Walking difficulty
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work Publications
 
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Created: Tue, 08 Jul 2014, 19:23:27 EST by Vicki Percival on behalf of School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work