Verification of a comprehensive framework for mobility using data from the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging: a structural equation modeling analysis

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Webber, Sandra
Liu, Yixiu
Jiang, Depeng
Ripat, Jacquie D
Nowicki, Scott
Tate, Robert
Barclay, Ruth
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Background Mobility within and between life spaces is fundamental for health and well-being. Our objective was to verify a comprehensive framework for mobility. Methods This was a cross-sectional study. We used structural equation modeling to estimate associations between latent factors with data from the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging for participants 65–85 years of age (65+, n = 11,667) and for adults with osteoarthritis (OA) aged 45–85 (n = 5,560). Latent factors included life space mobility, and physical, psychosocial, environmental, financial, and cognitive elements. Personal variables (age, sex, education) were covariates. Results The models demonstrated good fit (65+: CFI = 0.90, RMSEA (90% CI) = 0.025 (0.024, 0.026); OA: CFI = 0.90, RMSEA (90% CI) = 0.032 (0.031, 0.033)). In both models, better psychosocial and physical health, and being less afraid to walk after dark (observed environmental variable) were associated with greater life space mobility. Greater financial status was associated with better psychosocial and physical health. Higher education was related to better cognition and finances. Older age was associated with lower financial status, cognition, and physical health. Cognitive health was positively associated with greater mobility only in the 65 + model. Models generated were equivalent for males and females. Conclusions Associations between determinants described in the mobility framework were verified with adults 65–85 years of age and in an OA group when all factors were considered together using SEM. These results have implications for clinicians and researchers in terms of important outcomes when assessing life space mobility; findings support interdisciplinary analyses that include evaluation of cognition, depression, anxiety, environmental factors, and community engagement, as well as physical and financial health. Public policies that influence older adults and their abilities to access communities beyond their homes need to reflect the complexity of factors that influence life space mobility at both individual and societal levels.
Ambulation, Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging, Life space, Transportation
BMC Geriatrics. 2023 Dec 08;23(1):823