The health equity characteristics of research exploring the unmet community mobility needs of older adults: a scoping review

BMC Geriatr. 2022 Oct 20;22(1):808. doi: 10.1186/s12877-022-03492-8.


Background: Unmet community mobility needs of older adults, published since the announcement of the UN sustainable development goals was synthesised to describe the health equity characteristics of research identifying unmet community mobility needs of older adults.

Methods: Searches were conducted in March and April 2020, 2275 articles were screened and 100 identified for data extraction.

Results: Findings showed underrepresentation of articles considering rural settings [9%] and originating in the global South [14%]. Gender, disability, education, and transport / driving were identified as key health equity characteristics and only 10 articles provided detail on all four of these. External factors inhibiting community mobility included built environments, service availability, and societal attitudes. Internal factors included finances, fear and apprehension, and functional limitations.

Conclusions: The need for standardised reporting of participant characteristics in the community mobility of older adults was highlighted. These characteristics are required by research consumers to judge equity dimensions, and the extent to which findings represent minority or marginalised groups. 15 after the UN pledge to reduce inequalities, peer reviewed primary research does not reflect a global drive to end discrimination, exclusion and reduce the inequalities and vulnerabilities that leave people behind.

Keywords: Active ageing; Discrimination; Exclusion; Inconsistent reporting; Knowledge gap; Minority groups; Research equity; Sustainable development; Vulnerable groups.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Delivery of Health Care
  • Disabled Persons*
  • Health Equity*
  • Humans
  • Rural Population