242263 Understanding Built Environment Barriers and Facilitators among Persons Aging with Mobility Disabilities

Wednesday, November 2, 2011: 11:24 AM

Dori Rosenberg, PhD, MPH , Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Basia Belza, PhD, RN, FAAN , Health Promotion Research Center, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Shannon Petz, RN, BSN , School of Nursing, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Background: Promoting physical activity (PA) among persons aging with mobility disabilities is a public health concern. Physical activity rates are low among older adults and those with disabilities. Due to the aging demographic trends and projected increase in mobility disabilities, ways to promote healthy aging, including PA, among populations with disability is needed. Features of the neighborhood built environment impact PA. The purpose of this study is to understand barriers and facilitators to PA among 50-75 year olds with mobility disabilities.

Methods: Forty adults that use an assistive device to ambulate will be recruited over the next few months. Participants will wear a Global Positioning Systems (GPS) device for 3 days and then complete in-depth interviews. GPS maps will be used to prompt participants during interviews about the types of places they go and barriers and facilitators of getting to/from each place.

Results: Recruitment is ongoing. To date, we have enrolled 13 participants. Characteristics of the sample include: average age = 64 (range 59-73), 85% female, 9 use canes, 7 use wheelchairs, and 7 use walkers (7 use more than one type of device). In estimating the walkability of participants' residential locations, 11/13 participants are above 50 indicating they live in somewhat or highly walkable neighborhoods. Once interviews are completed we will identify themes related to neighborhood built environment facilitators and barriers to being active.

Conclusions: More research is needed to examine ways the built environment impacts people with mobility disabilities to promote continued mobility in aging. ->

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
To describe neighborhood built environment barriers and facilitators to mobility and activity among persons aging with mobility disabilities.

Keywords: Environment, Physical Activity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I developed and designed the study and am working to carry it out.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.