, Volume 15, Issue 9, pp 1471-1479
Date: 29 Sep 2006

The prevalence of person-perceived participation restriction in community-dwelling older adults

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To estimate the prevalence, nature and distribution of person-perceived participation restriction, in community-dwelling older adults.


Population based cross-sectional postal survey of 11,055 adults aged 50 years and over in North Staffordshire, United Kingdom. Person-perceived participation restriction was measured using the Keele Assessment of Participation which covers 11 different aspects of life mapped to the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Functioning. Four-week period prevalence was calculated for restriction in any, multiple and for each aspect separately. Prevalence estimates were calculated for the total sample, and for each age and gender stratum.


A total of 7,878 subjects responded (adjusted response – 71.3%). The 4-week period prevalence of any participation restriction was 51.8%; 3.3% had substantial restriction. Participation restriction increased with age (p<0.001) and, for moderate and substantial restriction, was more frequent in women. The prevalence of restricted participation in individual aspects of life ranged from 3.8% (work) to 25.9% (mobility outside the home).


Some restriction of participation ‚as and when we want it’ is common in the general population and increases with age, although severe restriction only affects a minority. The distribution of person-perceived participation restriction is similar to that of impairments and activity limitation in community-dwelling older adults.