Walking and Talking: Recommendations for Doing Mobile Interviews with Older Adults

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Journal of Aging and Environment

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Publication Date



Gentrification, Dementia, Aging, African Americans, Older people, Interviews


Mobile methods, including walking interviews, have rarely been used in research with older adults. We compare and contrast two studies that engaged older adults in walking interviews conducted by the coauthors. The first study examined the meaning of food access with residents of publicly-subsidized housing, and the second involved Black Americans in a study of brain health and gentrification. Older adults, including those with physical and mild cognitive impairment, can participate in walking interviews. Key decisions and advice for researchers interested in using mobile methods with this population, including participant safety, comfort abilities, and technology use, are provided.


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Dr. Carder thanks faculty, especially Sara Arber and Sarah Neal at the University of Surrey for advice on mobile methods. Carder and Tuttle thank YaJuan Chung for translating and conducting interviews in the Korean language, Ellis Hews for assistance conducting and transcribing interviews, and Dr. Joe Broach for his technical assistance in selecting and using the GPS device.

Dr. Croff thanks research colleagues Edline Francois, BA, Patrice Fuller, BS, Miya L. Walker, BS, Andre Pruitt, MSW-LCSW, and mentor Jeffrey Kaye, MD, as well as Nicole F. Sharma, BA, Phelps Witter IV, BS, Thomas Quinn, BA, and Thomas C. Riley, BS of Oregon Center for Aging and Technology. Dr. Croff also thanks History Consultant Thomas McKenna and PreSERVE Coalition for African American Memory and Brain Health for their support and advising, The Portland, Oregon Chapter of The Links, Incorporated for their recruitment support, The Oregon Historical Society, Portland State University Special Collections, and Bonneville Power Administration for their archival resources, and the Marie Smith Center and the Urban League of Portland for extending their valuable resources to the SHARP study.



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