Change in physical function among women as they age: findings from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health

Leigh, Lucy, Byles, Julie E. and Mishra, Gita D. (2016) Change in physical function among women as they age: findings from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health. Quality of Life Research, 26 4: 1-11. doi:10.1007/s11136-016-1422-3


 
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Author Leigh, Lucy
Byles, Julie E.
Mishra, Gita D.
Title Change in physical function among women as they age: findings from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health
Journal name Quality of Life Research   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1573-2649
0962-9343
Publication date 2016-10-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s11136-016-1422-3
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 26
Issue 4
Start page 1
End page 11
Total pages 11
Place of publication Dordrecht, Netherlands
Publisher Springer Netherlands
Language eng
Subject 2739 Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
Abstract Purpose: Decline in physical function is common in older age, with important consequences for health-related quality of life, health care utilisation, and mortality. This study aimed to identify patterns of change in physical functioning (PF) for women in later life. Methods: PF was measured longitudinally using the ten-item subscale of the Medical Outcomes Study 36-item Short Form Health Survey, for 10 515 participants of the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health, who completed at least two surveys between 1999 (aged 73–78 years) and 2011 (aged 85–90 years). Conditional and unconditional latent profile analysis was conducted separately for deceased and surviving subgroups of women to uncover latent patterns of change in PF scores over time. Results: Four patterns of change were identified for women who were still alive in 2011 (N = 5928), and four similar classes for deceased women (N = 4587): (1) ‘poor PF’ representing women with low PF scores, (2) ‘moderate PF’, (3) ‘high PF’, and (4) ‘very high PF’, where scores remained very high. All patterns exhibited a decrease in PF over time. Factors which predict low PF included sedentary levels of exercise, obese and overweight BMI, difficulty managing on income, and lower education. Conclusions: The results provided evidence for a gradual decrease in PF for all women with age; however, there was no evidence for an increased rate of decline prior to death.
Formatted abstract
Purpose: Decline in physical function is common in older age, with important consequences for health-related quality of life, health care utilisation, and mortality. This study aimed to identify patterns of change in physical functioning (PF) for women in later life.

Methods: PF was measured longitudinally using the ten-item subscale of the Medical Outcomes Study 36-item Short Form Health Survey, for 10 515 participants of the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health, who completed at least two surveys between 1999 (aged 73–78 years) and 2011 (aged 85–90 years). Conditional and unconditional latent profile analysis was conducted separately for deceased and surviving subgroups of women to uncover latent patterns of change in PF scores over time.

Results: Four patterns of change were identified for women who were still alive in 2011 (N = 5928), and four similar classes for deceased women (N = 4587): (1) ‘poor PF’ representing women with low PF scores, (2) ‘moderate PF’, (3) ‘high PF’, and (4) ‘very high PF’, where scores remained very high. All patterns exhibited a decrease in PF over time. Factors which predict low PF included sedentary levels of exercise, obese and overweight BMI, difficulty managing on income, and lower education.

Conclusions: The results provided evidence for a gradual decrease in PF for all women with age; however, there was no evidence for an increased rate of decline prior to death.
Keyword Healthy ageing
Latent profile analysis
Physical functioning
Terminal decline
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
School of Public Health Publications
 
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