Measures of visual function and percentage of preferred walking speed in older adults: The Salisbury Eye Evaluation Project

Ilesh Patel, Kathleen A. Turano, Aimee T. Broman, Karen Bandeen-Roche, Beatriz Muñoz, Sheila K. West

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


PURPOSE. The purpose of this study was to determine the association of static (visual acuity, visual fields, and contrast sensitivity) and dynamic (dynamic visual acuity and motion threshold) measures of vision with mobility performance on a mobility course with obstacles. METHODS. A cross-sectional population-based study of 1504 persons aged 72 to 92 years enrolled in the third round of the Salisbury Eye Evaluation Project. Standardized examinations were used to test binocular visual acuity, better eye-contrast sensitivity, visual fields, dynamic visual acuity, and motion threshold. Cognitive status was assessed by using the standardized Mini-Mental State Examination. Participants were timed when walking a straight 4-m distance and when walking through a mobility course seeded with obstacles. The percentage of preferred walking speed (PPWS) for each subject was calculated as the ratio of mobility course speed to a 4-m walking speed expressed as a percentage. RESULTS. The mean age of the participants was 78.2 years. The mean 4-m walking speed was 0.82 m/s, whereas the mean mobility course speed was 0.47 m/s. The mean PPWS was 57.1%. All vision variables except visual acuity were associated with PPWS in univariate analyses. Multivariate models found visual fields and the cognitive state to be associated with PPWS. There was no association with dynamic measures of vision. CONCLUSIONS. The mobility performance, as measured by PPWS, was associated with visual fields but not with visual acuity, contrast sensitivity, or dynamic vision measures. Deficits in cognition also play an important role in predicting mobility performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-71
Number of pages7
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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