Research Article  |   May 2017
Facilitating Wellness in Urban-Dwelling, Low-Income Older Adults Through Community Mobility: A Mixed-Methods Study
Author Affiliations
  • Claire M. Mulry, OTD, OTR, CAPS, is Assistant Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy, Kean University, Union, NJ; cmulry@kean.edu
  • Christina Papetti, MSOT, OTR, is Occupational Therapist, Union, NJ. At the time of the study, she was Student, Department of Occupational Therapy, Kean University, Union, NJ
  • Julian De Martinis, MSOT, OTR, is Occupational Therapist, Children’s Specialized Hospital, Mountainside, NJ. At the time of the study, he was Student, Department of Occupational Therapy, Kean University, Union, NJ
  • Mark Ravinsky, MSOT, is Occupational Therapist, Union, NJ. At the time of the study, he was Student, Department of Occupational Therapy, Kean University, Union, NJ
Article Information
Community Mobility and Driving / Geriatrics/Productive Aging / Health and Wellness / Rehabilitation, Participation, and Disability / Special Issue: Research Articles
Research Article   |   May 2017
Facilitating Wellness in Urban-Dwelling, Low-Income Older Adults Through Community Mobility: A Mixed-Methods Study
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, May 2017, Vol. 71, 7104190030p1-7104190030p7. doi:10.5014/ajot.2017.025494
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, May 2017, Vol. 71, 7104190030p1-7104190030p7. doi:10.5014/ajot.2017.025494
Abstract

OBJECTIVE. Community participation is integral to wellness. This study examined the outcomes of Let’s Go, a program designed to facilitate community participation of urban-dwelling, low-income older adults.

METHOD. Fifty-two older adults participated in a mixed-methods, single-group pretest–posttest study. The Impact on Participation and Autonomy Questionnaire, participant surveys, and semistructured interviews were used to evaluate self-reported participation in community-based occupations, confidence, isolation, frequency of community trips, autonomy outdoors, and satisfaction with social life and relationships.

RESULTS. Significant improvement was found in participation, confidence, frequency of community trips, autonomy outdoors, and satisfaction with social life and relationships at 4 wk and 6 mo. Qualitative themes were decreased isolation, importance of peer and community support, increased knowledge of mobility options, and a shift from fear to confidence.

CONCLUSION. Community mobility programming can facilitate the participation of marginalized older adults in community-based occupations.