Scientific Bibliography

21. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health - 2022, 19, 11386.

Indoor Mobility, Frailty, and Disability in Community-Dwelling Older Adults: A Mediation Model

1NeuroMuscularFunction, Research Group, School of Exercise & Sport Sciences, University of Torino, 10126 Torino, Italy
2Department of Neuroscience, Biomedicine and Movement, University of Verona, 37124 Verona, Italy
3Department of Clinical and Biological Sciences, University of Torino, 10126 Torino, Italy
4Department of Medical Sciences, University of Torino, 10126 Torino, Italy
5Bluecompanion Ltd., London NW8 9DD, UK
6Caretek s.r.l., 10127 Torino, Italy
*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editors: Christel Galvani, Paolo Bruseghini, Sabrina Demarie and Javier Abián-Vicén
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(18), 11386; (registering DOI)
Received: 25 June 2022 / Revised: 18 August 2022 / Accepted: 5 September 2022 / Published: 9 September 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Well-Being and Motor Development over the Life Span)
The general population, but especially older adults, were forced or encouraged to stay home during the recent COVID-19 pandemic. In this context, indoor mobility (IM, the number of steps performed daily at home) may be informative about the general health status of older adults. The present study aimed at evaluating the relationship between IM, frailty (loss of functional reserve including both physical and psychosocial domains), and disability (loss of autonomy measured as activities of daily life, ADLs) in a sample of community-dwelling Italian older adults. Specifically, the primary objective was to investigate IM and disability differences between robust and frail older adults. The secondary objective was to test if frailty is in the causal sequence between IM and disability, i.e., as a mediator in their relationship. Thirty-two participants (mean age = 70 ± 6 years; 56.2% women) were recruited. Frailty and disability were evaluated using the Tilburg Frailty Indicator and the Groningen Activity Restriction Scale, respectively. IM at home was measured via an Adamo wristwatch (a connected accelerometer). One-way analyses of covariance, controlling for age and gender, showed that robust participants, classified according to a score higher than five points in the Tilburg Frailty Indicator, performed significantly more IM (F1,28 = 4.639; p = 0.04) and presented lower disability grade than frail ones (F1,28 = 4.342; p =0.046). Only physical frailty was a mediator in the relationship between IM and disability (F2,29 = 8.538, p < 0.001), with a fully mediated model (z = −2.073, p < 0.04). Conversely, the total frailty score was not a mediator in the same relationship, but with IM accounted for the variance in disability (F2,29 = 8.538, p < 0.001; R2 = 33.7%). Our results suggested that frail older adults restricted their IM more and presented a higher level of disability compared to robust older adults. Moreover, data suggest that IM reduction may have a negative impact on physical frailty and indirectly increase disability. View Full-Text
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