Mental health and motor efficiency of older adults living in the Sardinia’s Blue Zone: a follow-up study
Fastame, Maria Chiara
Formal Analysis;Pau, Massimiliano
AbstractObjectives: The main aim of this study was to examine the impact of age-related changes on mental health, metacognitive, and motor functioning in late adulthood, while controlling for the effect of gender. Additionally, this investigation intended to study the association between motor efficiency indexes and self-reported psychological well-being, depression and cognitive failures over a period of 24 months. Design: Prospective longitudinal study: post hoc analysis. Participants: Ninety-one community-dwelling older participants (mean age = 78.7 years, SD = 5.6) were recruited in a rural village of the Sardinian Blue Zone – an area of exceptional longevity located in the central–eastern region of Sardinia, an Italian island in the Mediterranean Sea. Measurements: All respondents completed a battery of tests and questionnaires assessing motor and general cognitive efficiency, self-reported psychological well-being, negative affect, and cognitive failures. Results: The adoption of a multilevel modeling approach highlighted the significative impact of time on psychological well-being, as well as on mobility parameters like gait speed and cadence, while controlling for the gender effect. Overall, psychological well-being and motor swing significantly increase at follow-up, whereas the further above-mentioned measures decreased after 24 months. Moreover, compared to the national cut-off, at baseline and follow-up, participants reported higher perceived emotional well-being. Finally, significant relationships between motor scores and self-reported mental health and metacognitive measures were found both at baseline and follow-up. Conclusions: The maintenance of motor efficiency and preserved mental health seems to contribute to the successful aging of older people living in the Sardinian Blue Zone.
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