Community ambulation in older adults and people with OA – a model verification using Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA) data

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Barclay, Ruth
Liu, Yixiu
Ripat, Jacquie
Tate, Robert
Nowicki, Scott
Jiang, Depeng
Webber, Sandra C.
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Abstract Background There are health and well-being benefits of community ambulation; however, many older adults do not regularly walk outside of their home. Objectives were to estimate the associations between latent constructs related to community ambulation in older adults aged 65–85 (65+), and in adults with osteoarthritis (OA) aged 45–85. Methods Secondary data analysis of the comprehensive baseline and maintaining contact questionnaire data from the Canadian Longitudinal Study of Aging (CLSA) was completed. Based on a previous model of community ambulation post-stroke, structural equation modeling (SEM) was used to develop measurement and structural models for two groups: older adults 65+ and people with OA. Multi-group SEM was conducted to test measurement invariance across sex and age groups. Measurement models were developed for the following latent factors: ambulation (frequency of walking outside/week, hours walked/day, ability to walk without help, frequency and aids used in different settings); health perceptions (general health, pain frequency/intensity); timed functional mobility (gait speed, timed up-and-go, sit-to-stand, balance). Variables of depression, falls, age, sex, and fear of walking alone at night were covariates in the structural models. Results Data were used from 11,619 individuals in the 65+ group (mean age 73 years ±6, 49% female) and 5546 individuals in the OA group (mean age 67 ± 10, 60% female). The final 65+ model had a close fit with RMSEA (90% CI) = 0.018 (0.017, 0.019), CFI = 0.91, SRMR = 0.09. For the OA group, RMSEA (90% CI) = 0.021 (0.020, 0.023), CFI = 0.92, SRMR = 0.07. Health perceptions and timed functional mobility had a positive association with ambulation. Depression was associated with ambulation through negative associations with health perceptions and timed functional mobility. Multi-group SEM results reveal the measurement model was retained for males and females in the 65+ group, for males and females and for age groups (65+, < 65) in the OA group. Conclusions The community ambulation model post-stroke was verified with adults aged 65+ and for those with OA. The models of community ambulation can be used to frame and conceptualize community ambulation research and clinical interventions.
BMC Geriatrics. 2024 Jan 06;24(1):31