Personal mastery and lower body mobility in community-dwelling older persons: The invecchiare in chianti study

Yuri Milaneschi, Stefania Bandinelli, Anna Maria Corsi, Rosamaria Vazzana, Kushang V. Patel, Luigi Ferrucci, Jack M. Guralnik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: To test the hypothesis that, in older persons, sense of personal mastery, defined as the extent to which one regards one's life chance as being under one's own control, predicts change in lower extremity performance during a 6-year follow-up. Design: Prospective cohort study. Setting: Community based. Participants: Six hundred twenty-six participants aged 65 and older. Measurements: Personal mastery was assessed at baseline using Pearlin's mastery scale. Lower extremity performance was measured at baseline and at 6-year follow-up using the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB) of lower extremity function. Results: Higher sense of mastery was associated with a significantly less-steep decline in lower extremity performance. Participants in the two lowest quartiles of personal mastery had, respectively, a 2.6 (95% confidence interval (CI)=1.4-5.1, P=.01) and 3.2 (95% CI=1.6-6.6, P=.002) higher risk of experiencing a substantial decline (≥3 points) in SPPB scores after 6 years as those in the highest quartile. Conclusions: Older individuals with poor sense of personal mastery are at high risk of accelerated lower extremity physical function decline. Whether interventions aimed at improving personal mastery may prevent disability remains unknown.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)98-103
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Lower body mobility
  • Personal mastery
  • Physical performance
  • SPPB

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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