Out-of-home behavior and cognitive impairment in older adults: Findings of the sentra project

Markus Wettstein, Hans Werner Wahl*, Noam Shoval, Frank Oswald, Elke Voss, Ulrich Seidl, Lutz Frölich, Gail Auslander, Jeremia Heinik, Ruth Landau

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


This study explores differences in the out-of-home behavior of community-dwelling older adults with different cognitive impairment. Three levels of complexity of out-of-home behavior were distinguished: (a) mostly automatized walking behavior (low complexity), (b) global out-of-home mobility (medium complexity), and (c) defined units of concrete out-of-home activities, particularly cognitively demanding activities (high complexity). A sample of 257 older adults aged 59 to 91 years (M = 72.9 years, SD = 6.4 years) included 35 persons with early-stage Alzheimer's disease (AD), 76 persons with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and 146 cognitively healthy persons (CH). Mobility data were gathered by using a GPS tracking device as well as by questionnaire. Predicting cognitive impairment status by out-of-home behavior and a range of confounders by means of multinomial logistic regression revealed that only cognitively demanding activities showed at least a marginally significant difference between MCI and CH and were highly significant between AD and CH.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)3-25
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Applied Gerontology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 8 Feb 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2012 The Author(s).


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • GPS tracking technology
  • mild cognitive impairment
  • old age
  • out-of-home behavior


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