Older people and people with functional limitations are recognized as vulnerable groups when it comes to evacuation. Previous studies have focused mostly on the quantitative aspects of their physical characteristics, such as movement speeds. This study explores the perspectives on egressibility of older people with functional limitations. This was achieved by reflexive thematic analysis of semi-structured interviews with 28 older people with functional limitations. Participants were recruited based on voluntary participation mainly from senior citizen organizations. Inspired by The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health, a questionnaire was developed to characterize the sample in terms of presence of functional limitations. The sample consisted of people with a wide variety of functional limitations. The findings are presented in the form of three themes constructed from the transcripts: Other people's difficulties in understanding, Strategies to cope with the limitation, and Uncertainty of evacuation. The findings highlight that older people may perceive a lack of reliance on the physical environment and other people's support in evacuation situations. Instead, they considered relying primarily on their own ability to mitigate issues caused by functional limitations. The findings may be used to inform future in-depth studies aimed at achieving an equal evacuation safety for all.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103509
JournalFire Safety Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jan

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Gerontology, specializing in Medical and Health Sciences
  • Other Civil Engineering

Free keywords

  • Ageing
  • Disability
  • Evacuation
  • Functional limitations
  • Qualitative analysis
  • Thematic analysis


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