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Open Access Through Seniors' Eyes: An Exploratory Qualitative Study to Identify Environmental Barriers to and Facilitators of Walking Du point de vue des personnes âgées : étude qualitative exploratoire visant à déterminer les entraves et les aides à la marche dans le milieu environnant

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Abstract:

This qualitative exploratory study examined environmental factors influencing the walking choices of elderly people using the photovoice approach. A total of 13 seniors in Ottawa, Canada, took photographs of barriers to and facilitators of walking in their neighbourhoods. These photos were displayed during 3 focus-group sessions and served as touchstones for discussion. A total of 22 seniors, including 8 of the 13 photographers, participated in the focus-group sessions. The findings show that environmental hazards related to traffic and falls risks can be significant barriers to walking for seniors, and that connectivity can truly exist for the elderly only if convenience, hazard-free routes are available. They also indicate that simple amenities such as benches and washrooms might facilitate walking for seniors. A neighbourhood that is activity-friendly for seniors will also be a good place for everyone else to live, work, and play. The use of photovoice as a method was well received by the participants and provided rich information that may not have been captured through other means.

French
Cette étude qualitative exploratoire examine les facteurs environnementaux influant sur les habitudes de marche des personnes âgées en utilisant l'approche de messages par l'image (photovoice). Au total, 13 personnes âgées d'Ottawa, Canada, ont pris des photos des éléments qui compliquaient ou facilitaient la marche dans leurs quartiers. Les photos ont été exposées dans le cadre de trois séances de groupes de discussions, où elles ont servi de point de départ pour la discussion. Ont participé aux groupes de discussions 22 personnes âgées au total, dont 8 des 13 photographes. Les résultats montrent que les dangers environnants liés à la circulation et aux risques de chute peuvent constituer des entraves importantes à la marche chez les personnes âgées et que pour celles-ci, la connectivité ne peut réellement exister que si des parcours convenables et sans danger sont disponibles. Les résultats indiquent également que de simples commodités, comme des bancs et des toilettes, pourraient faciliter la marche chez les personnes âgées. Un quartier dont les activités prennent en considération les personnes âgées sera aussi pour toutes et tous un bon endroit où vivre, travailler et se divertir. L'utilisation de la méthode de messages par l'image a été bien accueillie par les participants et a fourni une riche information qui n'aurait peut-être pas pu être recueillie par d'autres moyens.

Keywords: ACTIVE LIVING; BARRIERS; ENVIRONMENTAL FACILITATORS; PHOTOVOICE; SENIORS; WALKING

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2005-09-01

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