Background: Life-space mobility is defined as the ability to access different areas extending from the room where the person sleeps to places outside one’s hometown. Life-space mobility is vital to support performance of daily life activities and autonomous participation in social life. However, there is a dearth of research that investigates a wider range of physical functions and functioning in relation to life-space mobility rather than just single aspects. Thus, the purpose of the present study was to identify and describe several measures of physical functioning associated with life-space mobility among older men and women. Methods: Data used in this study was derived from the OCTO 2 study, a population-based study of health, functioning and mobility among older persons (n = 312) in Sweden. Associations between Life-Space Assessment (LSA) total score and age, sex, Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB), dizziness, lung function i.e. Peak Expiratory Flow (PEF), grip strength, self-rated vision and hearing were analysed through bivariate and multivariate regression models. Results: The bivariate models showed that life-space mobility was significantly associated with sex, but also age, SPPB, PEF and grip strength in the total group as well as among men and women. In addition, hearing was significantly associated with life-space mobility among women. Those factors that were statistically significant in the bivariate models were further analysed in multivariable models for the total group, and for men and women separately. In these models, sex, grip strength and SPPB remained significantly associated with life-space mobility in the total group, as well as SPPB among both men and women. Conclusion: Sex, physical function in terms of physical performance measured by SPPB (balance, gait speed and chair stand), and grip strength are associated with life-space mobility. Consequently, these factors need to be considered in assessments and interventions aiming to maintain mobility in old age.
- Gerontologi, medicinsk/hälsovetenskaplig inriktning