Leg and Trunk Impairments Predict Participation in Life Roles in Older Adults: Results From Boston RISE
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BACKGROUND: The physical impairments that affect participation in life roles among older adults have not been identified. Using the International Classification of Functioning Disability and Health as a conceptual framework, we aimed to determine the leg and trunk impairments that predict participation over 2 years, both directly and indirectly through mediation by changes in activities. METHODS: We analyzed 2 years of data from the Boston Rehabilitative Impairment Study of the Elderly, a cohort study of 430 primary care patients with self-reported mobility limitation (mean age 77 years; 68% female; average of four chronic conditions). Frequency of and limitations in participation were examined using the Late-Life Disability Instrument. Baseline physical impairments included: leg strength, leg speed of movement, knee range of motion (ROM), ankle ROM, leg strength asymmetry, kyphosis, and trunk extensor endurance. Structural equation modeling with latent growth curve analysis was used to identify the impairments that predicted participation at year 2, mediated by changes in activities. Models were adjusted for baseline participation, age, and gender. RESULTS: Leg speed and ankle ROM directly influenced participation in life roles during follow-up (βdirect = 1.39-4.53 and 4.70, respectively). Additionally, ankle ROM and trunk extensor endurance contributed indirectly to participation score at follow-up via effects on changes in activities (βindirect = -1.06 to -4.24 and 1.01 to 4.18, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: Leg speed, ankle ROM, and trunk extensor endurance are key physical impairments predicting participation in life roles in older adults. These results have implications for the development of exercise interventions to enhance participation.
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