Functional limitations to daily living tasks in the aged: A focus group analysis

Wendy A. Rogers, Beth Meyer, Neff Walker, Arthur D. Fisk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We assessed constraints on daily living of 59 healthy, active adults 65- 88 years of age in focus group interviews. Individual comments about specific problems were coded along the dimensions of (a) the locus of the problem (motor, visual, auditory, cognitive, external, or health limitations); (b) the activity involved (e.g., transportation, leisure, housekeeping); (c) whether the problem was attributable to task difficulty or the perception of risk; and (d) response to limitations (perseverance, cessation, compensation, or self-improvement). The data provide information about the types of difficulties encountered in everyday activities as well as the way in which individuals respond to such difficulties. Each comment was also coded in terms of whether it was remediable via training, design changes, or some combination of the two. More than haft of the problems that were reported had the potential to be improved in some way, thus providing direction for future research in human factors and aging. Actual or potential applications of this research include identifying problems and difficulties that older adults encounter in daily activities such as transportation and leisure; more specifically, determining the degree to which such problems are potentially remediable by human factors solutions. Applications of this research also include understanding the types of systems, products, and technologies that older adults interact with currently, or are interested in learning to use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-125
Number of pages15
JournalHuman Factors
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Applied Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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