Challenges in using wearable GPS devices in low-income older adults: Can map-based interviews help with assessments of mobility?

Tanja Schmidt, Jacqueline Kerr, Yan Kestens, Jasper Schipperijn

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Daily mobility, defined as the ability to move oneself within one's neighborhood and regions beyond, is an important construct, which affects people as they age. Having a feasible and valid measure of daily mobility is essential to understand how it affects older adults' everyday life. Given the limitations of existing measures, new tools may be needed. The purpose of the study is to assess the feasibility and practicality of using the map-based questionnaire system VERITAS and GPS devices to measure daily mobility in older adults living in a deprived neighborhood in Denmark. Older adults were recruited from two senior housing areas, completed an interview using VERITAS and wore a GPS for 7 days. Feasibility of both methods was assessed by looking at practicalities, recruitment and compliance, and ability to measure daily mobility.Thirty-four older adults completed the VERITAS questionnaire, of which 23 wore the GPS device. Remembering to wear and charge the GPS was difficult for 48% participants, whereas remembering street names and drawing routes in VERITAS was difficult for two. Both the GPS and VERITAS were able to measure 10 out of the 13 identified components of mobility; however, VERITAS seemed more qualified at measuring daily mobility for this target population. The feasibility of assessing mobility may vary by specific context and study population being investigated. Wearable technology like a GPS may not be acceptable to low socioeconomic older adults, whereas interview led self-reported measurements like VERITAS might be more suitable for a low socioeconomic elderly population.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTranslational Behavioral Medicine
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)99-109
Publication statusPublished - 15. Mar 2019

Bibliographical note

ER importeret fra PubMed


  • Feasibility
  • GPS
  • Low-income community
  • Older adults
  • Monitoring, Ambulatory/instrumentation
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Spatial Behavior
  • Male
  • Motor Activity
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Patient Selection
  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Poverty
  • Self Report
  • Wearable Electronic Devices
  • Pilot Projects
  • Geographic Information Systems/instrumentation
  • Aged
  • Patient Compliance


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