Interrelationships among disablement concepts

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine

Publication Date


Document Type



Aged; Aged, 80 and over; Cross-Sectional Studies; *Disabled Persons; Female; Humans; Male; Middle Aged; Multivariate Analysis; Muscles


Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences | Women's Studies


BACKGROUND: Understanding interrelationships among disablement concepts is critical to the design of future disability treatment and prevention interventions.

METHODS: This study uses cross-sectional data to examine the relationships among physiologic impairments, functional limitations, and disability in a moderately disabled sample of 207 community-dwelling older adults.

RESULTS: As hypothesized, the data revealed statistically significant curvilinear relationships of upper and lower extremity strength and balance with mobility in this older sample. Multivariate analyses further clarified the hypothesized causal mechanism among the disablement concepts by demonstrating that most of the association of muscle strength and balance with disability was through the intermediary role of mobility limitations.

CONCLUSIONS: The findings from this study highlight the value of clinical trials that focus on prevention or treatment of mobility limitations as a means of preventing disability; our findings underscore the need for future research that examines the effects of other variables believed to influence disablement in late life.

DOI of Published Version



J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 1998 Sep;53(5):M395-404.

Journal/Book/Conference Title

The journals of gerontology. Series A, Biological sciences and medical sciences

Related Resources

Link to article in PubMed

PubMed ID