Perspectives on Use of Mobility Aids in a Diverse Population of Seniors: Implications for InterventionBy Resnik, Linda; Allen, Susan; Isenstadt, Deborah; Wasserman, Melanie; Iezzoni, Lisa; Disability and Health Journal, Vol. 2, pp. 77-85
Publication Date: 2009
Study explored attitudes towards mobility device use among elderly persons by race and ethnicity. Separate focus groups were held of seniors 65 years old and older stratified by self reported race and ethnicity: white, non-Hispanic black, and Hispanic. A total of 61 individuals participated in 12 groups of 4 to 7 people each. Two separate sessions each were held for device users and nonusers within each group. Data were coded and compared across groups. Among device users, canes were used by 21 participants, while walkers were utilized by 10, wheelchairs by 4, and scooters by 2 participants, respectively. Eight participants reported using multiple devices. For all groups, perceived benefits of mobility devices in maintaining independence and control produced positive attitudes. However, the association of mobility aid use with aging and physical decline contributed to stigmatizing attitudes. Black and Hispanic participants expressed apprehension about using unsafe or inappropriate secondhand equipment, heightened concerns about mobility aid users becoming subjects of negative biases, and a preference for fashionable aids. Hispanic participants expressed a preference for human assistance. Participants of all groups perceived physicians as influencing their decisions to use aids. Study limitations and implications for further research are discussed.
Published by: Elsevier Inc. (Website:http://www.elsevier.com)
This publication is included in the library of the National Rehabilitation Information Center (NARIC), accession number J61160