Introduction: Social participation can have a positive impact on health; however, physical challenges can be hindrances. During a preventive home visit a health professional (visitor) assesses different aspects of physical, mental and social health. However, there might be a challenge for the visitor to discover the interrelationship between physical factors that hinder social participation. Therefore, the aim of this study was, in the context of preventive home visits, to identify physical factors which can hinder older persons from taking part in social contexts. Methods: Cross-sectional register data from preventive home visits to older persons (n = 1245, ≥77 years old, without home care) was used. Data was collected during a period of 17 months, in seven Swedish municipalities. Logistic regression was used to analyze the association between physical factors and the item physical problems hindering social participation. Results: The mean age was 78.8 (standard deviation 1.8 years), and 55% were women. The physical factors significantly associated with physical problems hindering taking part in social contexts were: having urinary incontinence (women only), having pain, impaired endurance and using a mobility device. Conclusions: This study provides insights into how to make the best use of the questions asked during preventive home visits, in order to enable older persons to take part in social contexts. The results recognize the importance of taking into account physical challenges to be able to support social participation. Furthermore, considering physical challenges for social participation on both an individual and a societal level might reduce inequalities among older persons.
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