Understanding frailty:meanings and beliefs about screening and prevention across key stakeholder groups in Europe


Innovative methods to manage frailty are critical to managing the needs of an ageing population. Evidence suggests there are opportunities to reverse or prevent frailty through early intervention. However, little is known about older adults’, families’ and practitioners’ beliefs about the malleability of frailty. This study examined European stakeholders’ accounts of the acceptability and feasibility of frailty screening and prevention to inform future intervention development. Semi-structured focus groups and individual interviews were conducted in three European Union countries (Italy, Poland and the United Kingdom) with key stakeholders – frail and non-frail older adults, family care-givers, and health and social care professionals. Thematic analysis identified four themes: synchronicity between the physical and the psychological in frailty, living with frailty in the social world, the need for a new kind of care, and screening for and preventing frailty. Findings emphasised the need for a holistic approach to frailty care and early intervention. Integrated care services and advocacy were important in the organisation of care. Central to all stakeholders was the significance of the psychological and social alongside the physical elements of frailty and frailty prevention. Support and care for older adults and their family care-givers needs to be accessible and co-ordinated. Interventions to prevent frailty must encompass a social dimension to help older adults maintain a sense of self while building physical and psychological resilience.

Publication DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0144686X17000745
Divisions: College of Health & Life Sciences > School of Psychology
College of Health & Life Sciences
College of Health & Life Sciences > Chronic and Communicable Conditions
Additional Information: COPYRIGHT: © Cambridge University Press 2017. This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Funding: Consumers, Health, Agriculture and Food Executive Agency (CHAFEA) of the European Commission, under the European Union Health Programme (2014–2020).
Uncontrolled Keywords: ageing,European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing (EIP-AHA),European Union,frailty,qualitative research,thematic analysis,Health(social science),Social Psychology,Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous),Geriatrics and Gerontology,Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
Publication ISSN: 1469-1779
Last Modified: 15 Jul 2024 07:32
Date Deposited: 30 Oct 2017 09:10
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Related URLs: http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
https://www.cam ... 4A3D663F222960E (Publisher URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2018-06-01
Published Online Date: 2017-10-11
Accepted Date: 2017-06-22
Authors: Shaw, Rachel (ORCID Profile 0000-0002-0438-7666)
Gwyther, Holly (ORCID Profile 0000-0002-2867-4184)
Holland, Carol (ORCID Profile 0000-0002-1846-8897)
Bujnowska, Maria
Kurpas, Donata
Cano, Antonio
Marcucci, Maura
Riva, Silvia
D'Avanzo, Barbara



Version: Published Version

License: Creative Commons Attribution

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