Life-Space Mobility in Mexican Americans Aged 75 and Older

Authors


Address correspondence to Soham Al Snih, Division of Rehabilitation Sciences, School of Health Professions, University of Texas Medical Branch. 301 University Blvd., Galveston, TX 77555. E-mail: soalsnih@utmb.edu

Abstract

Objectives

To examine the factors associated with life-space mobility in older Mexican Americans.

Design

Cross-sectional study involving a population-based survey.

Setting

Hispanic Established Population for the Epidemiologic Study of the Elderly survey conducted in the southwestern of United States (Texas, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, and California).

Participants

Seven hundred twenty-eight Mexican-American men and women aged 75 and older.

Measurements

Sociodemographic factors, self-reported physician diagnoses of medical conditions (arthritis, diabetes mellitus, heart attack, stroke, hip fracture, and cancer), depressive symptoms, cognitive function, body mass index (BMI), upper and lower extremity muscle strength, Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB), activities of daily living (ADLs), and the life-space assessment (LSA) were assessed in in-home interviews.

Results

The mean age of participants was 84.2 ± 4.2. Sixty-five percent were female. Mean LSA score was 41.7 ± 20.9. Multiple regression analysis showed that older age, being female, limitation in ADLs, stroke, high depressive symptoms, and a BMI index of 35 kg/m2 and greater were significantly associated with lower LSA scores. Education and better lower extremity function and muscle strength were factors significantly associated with higher LSA scores.

Conclusion

Older Mexican Americans had restricted life-space, with approximately 80% limited to their home or neighborhood. Older age, female sex, stroke, high depressive symptoms, BMI of 35 kg/m2 or greater, and ADL disability were related to less life-space. Future studies are needed to examine the association between life-space and health outcomes and to characterize the trajectory of life-space over time in this population.

Ancillary