Which Features of the Environment Impact Community Participation of Older Adults?
A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study is to identify features of the environment associated with community participation of older adults.
METHOD: A systematic review of studies that examined associations between environment and community participation in older adults was conducted. Environmental features were extracted and grouped using the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health's environmental categories. Meta-analysis of environmental categories was conducted by calculating combined effect size (ES) estimates.
RESULTS: Significant, small to moderate, random ESs were found for six of seven environmental categories: neighborliness (ES = 0.52, 95% confidence interval [CI] = [0.18, 0.87]), social support (ES = 0.38, 95% CI = [0.13, 0.62]), land-use diversity (ES = 0.29, 95% CI = [0.16, 0.42]), transportation (ES = 0.29, 95% CI = [0.15, 0.43]), civil protection (e.g., safety; ES = 0.27, 95% CI = [0.0, 0.54]), and street connectivity/walkability (ES = 0.20, 95% CI = [0.15, 0.26]).
DISCUSSION: Community initiatives that address specific features of the social environment and street-level environment may increase community participation of older adults.