Predictors of social leisure activities in older Europeans with and without multimorbidity

Henrike Galenkamp, Cristina Gagliardi, Andrea Principi, Stanislawa Golinowska, Amilcar Moreira, Andrea E. Schmidt, Juliane Winkelmann, Agnieszka Sowa, Suzan van der Pas, Dorly J H Deeg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Older people spend much time participating in leisure activities, such as taking part in organized activities and going out, but the extent of participation may differ according to both individual and environmental resources available. Chronic health problems become more prevalent at higher ages and likely necessitate tapping different resources to maintain social participation. This paper compares predictors of participation in social leisure activities between older people with and those without multimorbidity. The European Project on Osteoarthritis (EPOSA) was conducted in Germany, UK, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain and Sweden (N = 2942, mean age 74.2 (5.2)). Multivariate regression was used to predict social leisure participation and degree of participation in people with and without multimorbidity. Fewer older people with multimorbidity participated in social leisure activities (90.6 %), compared to those without multimorbidity (93.9 %). The frequency of participation was also lower compared to people without multimorbidity. Higher socioeconomic status, widowhood, a larger network of friends, volunteering, transportation possibilities and having fewer depressive symptoms were important for (the degree of) social leisure participation. Statistically significant differences between the multimorbidity groups were observed for volunteering and driving a car, which were more important predictors of participation in those with multimorbidity. In contrast, self-reported income appeared more important for those without multimorbidity, compared to those who had multimorbidity. Policies focusing on social (network of friends), physical (physical performance) and psychological factors (depressive symptoms) and on transportation possibilities are recommended to enable all older people to participate in social leisure activities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalEuropean Journal of Ageing
Publication statusAccepted/In press - May 4 2016


  • Aged
  • Chronic disease
  • Leisure activities
  • Social participation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Health(social science)


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