Consistency of participation over time among persons aging with physical disability as measured by a tool designed for use among community-based organizations

Michelle Putnam, Kerri Morgan, Holly Hollingsworth, Rachel Heeb Desai, Szu Wei Chen, Susan L. Stark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Community participation measures for persons aging with disability were developed and evaluated to support community-based organizations (CBOs) with efficient assessment of change in participation and need for supports/services to facilitate participation. Objective: To evaluate a set of nine activity domain measures to broadly assess community participation and change in participation over time. Methods: A community-based sample (N = 323) of persons ages 45–65 responded to a survey with repeated measures three times annually (T1, T2, T3) between 2019 and 2022. Nine activity domain measures were developed based on extant research and evaluated with assistance from community-based support service providers. Statistical analyses employed T-tests and chi-square tests to assess change in participation over time, perceptions of participation satisfaction, and assistance needed to facilitate participation. Participants were asked if they thought changes were attributable to aging, the COVID-19 pandemic, or other factors. Results: Findings showed varying levels of participation across the nine activity domains, with the lowest participation rate for employment and the highest participation rates for personal leisure and managing medications across T1, T2, and T3. Change in participation over the three-year period was limited; most change was reported as activity reduction. In general, respondents indicated that reduction was due to their aging or the COVID-19 pandemic. Personal assistance, transportation, environmental modifications, and improved health were identified as factors needed to help increase participation levels. Conclusion: The activity domain measures demonstrated efficiency in identifying participation rates and change. CBOs may deem them useful for assessing support and service needs to facilitate participation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101519
JournalDisability and Health Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2024


  • Activity
  • Aging
  • Community
  • Disability
  • Participation


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