Interventions to maintain mobility: What works?

Academic Article


  • Mobility, in broad terms, includes everything from the ability to move within your immediate environment (e.g., get out of bed) to the ability to drive across the country. Mobility is essential to maintaining independence and wellbeing, particularly for older adults. This is highlighted by the large number of interventions developed for older adults with the goal of maintaining such mobility. The current paper reviews the state of the science with respect to mobility interventions. Inclusion criteria for the review were: (1) articles must have been peer-reviewed; (2) interventions were evaluated in a randomized controlled trial (RCT); (3) studies included a mobility outcome such as lifespace, driving, or walking ability; (4) studies included a sample of healthy community-dwelling older adults (e.g., not investigations of disease conditions); and (5) studies must have reported enough empirical data and detail such that results could potentially be replicated. Three main types of interventions were identified: cognitive training, educational interventions, and exercise interventions. A detailed summary and evaluation of each type of intervention, and the current evidence regarding its effectiveness in maintaining mobility, are discussed. Several interventions show clear evidence of effectiveness, and thus are prime areas for translation of results to the older population. Needs and issues for future intervention research are also detailed. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Ross LA; Schmidt EL; Ball K
  • Start Page

  • 167
  • End Page

  • 196
  • Volume

  • 61