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Geriatr Nurs. 2008 Mar-Apr;29(2):133-40. doi: 10.1016/j.gerinurse.2007.07.002.

Risk factors for mobility limitation in community-dwelling older adults: a social ecological perspective.

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Arizona State University College of Nursing and Healthcare Innovation, Phoenix, Arizona, USA.


Although a variety of risk factors for mobility limitation in older adults have been examined, a collective review of relevant literature has not been reported. The purposes of this review are to report the intrapersonal, interpersonal, environmental, and organizational risk factors related to mobility limitation using a social ecological perspective and to discuss the direction of future clinical practice consistent with current literature on mobility limitation of community-dwelling older adults. Intrapersonal risk factors related to mobility limitation include advanced age, female gender, low socioeconomic status, comorbidity, lack of motivation (i.e., dependent personality, decreased self-efficacy), lifestyle factors (i.e., sedentary lifestyle, smoking, obesity), and physiological factors (i.e., vitamin D deficiency, inflammation, poor nutritional status). Interpersonal risk factors related to mobility limitation include weak social networks and limited social activities. Geriatric clients may also experience a decline in mobility when they encounter environmental challenges such as an inconvenient home environment and lack of availability of services in their community, as well as lack of organizational resources stemming from social policy. Potential intervention strategies focused on modifiable risk factors may include lifestyle modifications, social networking programs, and enhancing awareness of environmental and organizational resources in the community for older adults at risk for mobility limitation.

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