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Authors

  1. Torres de Araujo, Jose Rodolfo PT, MD

Abstract

Background and Purpose: Mobility is a basic human need, and its limitation compromises health status, especially in older adults from developing countries and residing in nursing homes. This study aims to determine the prevalence and factors associated with mobility limitation in older adults residing in nursing homes.

 

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted with 305 older adults (>=60 years) residing in 10 nursing homes in Northeast Brazil. Mobility limitation was evaluated using the "walking" item of the Barthel index. Sociodemographic/economic data concerning the participants and institutions, as well as conditions that could influence the mobility state of the older adults, were collected. The [chi]2 test and multiple logistic regression were performed using a significance level of 5%.

 

Results and Discussion: The prevalence of mobility limitation was 65.6% (95% confidence interval [CI], 59.6-70.4). Walking dependence was identified in 39.7% of the sample (26.9% wheelchair users and 12.8% bedridden), while 25.9% walked with assistance (16.7% with maximal assistance and 9.2% with minimal assistance). Mobility limitation was significantly associated with malnutrition/risk of malnutrition (1.86, 95% CI, 1.54-2.26, P < .001) and age >=81 years (1.35, 95% CI, 1.12-1.63, P = .002).

 

Conclusion: Mobility limitation has a high prevalence among older adults residing in nursing homes in Brazil, and is associated with advanced age and poor nutritional status. Health professionals should advocate for the maintenance of mobility and adequate nutritional support.