Methods: Descriptive-comparative design. Population integrated by older adults with 60 or more years, users of Daycare Centers for Older Adults. The calculated sample was of 210 older adults from Saltillo, Mexico (n1=105) and Lima, Peru (n2=105) selected by convenience. Spatial-temporal characteristics and quality of gait were evaluated.
Results: The averages of the spatial-time parameters of gait show that it was characterized for being regular (speed (n1) = 1.42 m/s; speed (n2) = 1.55 m/s ; U = 5233; p = .526 and rhythm (n1) = 1.52 steps/s; rhythm (n2) = 1.55; U = 4888; p = .156); of short steps (length (n1) = 49.5 cm; length (n2) = 50.3 cm; t(208) = -.589; p=.073) and large (width (n1) = 7.70 cm, width (n2) = 10.20 cm; t(208) = -5.47; p=.467). When classifying the scores for quality of gait by risk of falling, the 23.8% of the older adults from Saltillo, Mexico and the 20.0% from Lima, Peru resulted in the high risk category (χ2= 2.09; p = .350). It was found that older adults with the highest age, and that reported a longer time diagnosed with Diabetes, reached the gait with the highest speed and number of steps, but with steps and a shorter cycle and with a lower quality when walking (p < .01).
Conclusion: It is necessary to continue exploring the characteristics and the quality of gait through the use of a more advanced and precise technology, and also to consider variables such as gender, age segments, chronicity and polypharmacy; and with that, to continue generating relevant knowledge about the phenomenon of functionality in the Latin-American context and for the attention of global gerontology.
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