Interventions to maintain mobility: What works?

Lesley A. Ross, Erica L. Schmidt, Karlene Ball

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)167-196
Number of pages30
JournalAccident Analysis and Prevention
StatePublished - 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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