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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Does the Range of Walking Speeds Produced by Community-Dwelling Older Adults Relate to or Predict Function, Disability, and Community Mobility?
by Criss, Michelle Germaine, P.T.P., Nova Southeastern University, 2020, 180; 28021900
Abstract (Summary)

Background: Self-selected (SSWS) and maximum walking speeds (MWS) are frequently studied and related to multiple body systems, function, falls, and mortality. Walking at a slow speed voluntarily or measuring a range of walking speeds (WS), however, has rarely been investigated. Purpose: The aims of this project were to explore a proposed measure of WS adaptability called total walking speed range (TWSR), to assess the reliability and validity of slow walking speed (slowWS) as a component of TWSR, to assess if TWSR could predict function, disability or community mobility, and finally, to compare the predictive ability of TWSR to single walking speeds. Methods: This was a cross-sectional, observational study using a convenience sample of independent community-dwelling older adults. Subjects were assessed in a single session with a battery of tests measuring common correlates of walking speed, several walking speeds, and outcome measures for function, disability (Late Life Function and Disability Instrument), and community mobility (Life-Space Assessment). Results: SlowWS demonstrated excellent test-retest and interrater reliability. SlowWS was only significantly correlated with TWSR, but TWSR was correlated with all study variables including the outcomes. TWSR significantly predicted function (adj. R2 = .364, p < .0005), life-space (adj. R2 = .185, p = .019), disability limitation (adj. R2 = .107, p < .0005) and disability frequency (adj. R2 = .041, p < .0005). In comparisons, SSWS predicted more variance in function, disability limitation and frequency than TWSR or MWS, but TWSR predicted life-space better. When covariates were included in models, neither TWSR, SSWS, nor MWS contributed independently to prediction of the outcomes. The hierarchical models for TWSR/SSWS/MWS performed similarly and final explained variances were within 1% of each other, except for the prediction of life-space. The model with covariates + TWSR predicted more life-space variance than covariates + SSWS (adj. R2 = .173, p < .0005 vs .145, p = .001). Conclusion: Walking at a slow speed can be reliably measured, consistent with findings for other WS. TWSR, but not slowWS, correlated with measures of body structure/function, activities, and participation and also predicted function, disability, and community mobility. However, the predictive ability of TWSR was not superior to SSWS or MWS. TWSR requires further research as a measure of walking speed adaptability, especially in relation to life-space.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Canbek, Jennifer
Commitee: Gallichio, Joann, Chui, Kevin
School: Nova Southeastern University
Department: Physical Therapy
School Location: United States -- Florida
Source: DAI-A 82/1(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Physical therapy, Disability studies
Keywords: Community-dwelling older adults, Disability, Life-space, Total walking speed reserve, Walking speed
Publication Number: 28021900
ISBN: 9798662494145
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