Health and Mental Health in Older Adults: First Steps in the Study of a Pedestrian Complaint

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The relationship of self-reported foot problems to health, mental health, and functional mobility was explored in a representative sample of 111 adults, aged 50 through 87, living in a multi-ethnic urban area. One-third of the respondents reported having problems with their feet. Analyses supported the prediction that foot complaints were significantly related to greater psychological distress and that for most individuals this relationship was mediated by limited mobility. Specific psychological correlates were congruent with a picture of diminished sense of self-efficacy among those with foot problems. The results of this study of health, behavior, and perceived well-being have implications for prevention and rehabilitation.

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