To determine whether there is a relationship between physical mobility and lack of social support in elderly people living in high Andean communities in Peru.
Observational, analytical, retrospective study using the database of a previous cross-sectional study containing information on 449 people aged 60 years and over, who participated in the ANDES-FRAIL project. The dependent variable was mobility, evaluated using the Short Physical Performance Battery; the independent variable was social support, evaluated using an item from the Edmonton Frail Scale. Sociodemographic parameters, comorbidities, number of drugs commonly used, and scores received from several instruments were used as covariates. These included the Barthel Index to determine functionality in older people and the Yesavage questionnaire to evaluate depression in the elderly. Frequencies and percentages were calculated for the categorical variables. An adjusted model was developed using the variables that were statistically significant in the two-factor logistic regression analysis.
The frequency of limited mobility in the studied population was 58.6% (n = 263) and the frequency of inadequate social support was 58.1% (n = 261); 70.7% of participants (n = 186) with inadequate social support had limited mobility. According to the adjusted regression model, inadequate social support would make it 2.5 times more likely (95% CI: 1.3-4.5) to have limited mobility, regardless of the confounding covariates
Lack of social support is associated with limited mobility in older people living in high Andean communities in Peru.