Objectives. Despite evidence of self-efficacy and physical function's influences on functional limitations in older adults, few studies have examined relationships in the context of complex, real-world tasks. The present study tested the roles of self-efficacy and physical function in predicting older adults' street-crossing performance in single- and dual-task simulations. Methods. Lower-extremity physical function, gait self-efficacy, and street-crossing success ratio were assessed in 195 older adults (60-79 years old) at baseline of a randomized exercise trial. During the street-crossing task, participants walked on a self-propelled treadmill in a virtual reality environment. Participants crossed the street without distraction (single-task trials) and conversed on a cell phone (dual-task trials). Structural equation modeling was used to test hypothesized associations independent of demographic and clinical covariates. Results. Street-crossing performance was better on single-task trials when compared with dual-task trials. Direct effects of self-efficacy and physical function on success ratio were observed in dual-task trials only. The total effect of self-efficacy was significant in both conditions. The indirect path through physical function was evident in the dual-task condition only. Conclusion. Physical function can predict older adults' performance on high fidelity simulations of complex, real-world tasks. Perceptions of function (i.e., self-efficacy) may play an even greater role.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)