Assessment of frailty in community-dwelling older adults residents in the Lazio region (Italy): A model to plan regional community-based services
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PURPOSE OF THE STUDY: The prevalence of frailty is expected to increase worldwide in parallel with demographic ageing. Despite this, little is known about the prevalence in different populations particularly community-based samples. This cross-sectional study evaluates the prevalence of frailty in a community-dwelling older adult population and describes a methodology to plan community-based interventions. METHODOLOGY: A random sample of 1331 older adults, resident in the Lazio-Region of Italy, were screened by trained public health nurses (PHNs) by administering a validated questionnaire (the Functional Geriatric Evaluation questionnaire). Prevalence of frailty was calculated using the Final Synthetic Score derived from the questionnaire's Final Score. Variables associated with frailty were selected through univariate and multivariate statistical analysis. RESULTS: Prevalence of frail (FS≥10,≤50) and very frail (FS<10) individuals was 13.9% and 7.6% respectively. Variables associated with frailty were age (older than 85 years), disability, living alone or the presence of a paid carer, lower education and neurological disorders like stroke, dementia, Parkinson disease and other neuropsychiatric diseases; Anaemia or cancer were also associated with a higher prevalence of frailty. DISCUSSION: The study provide a comprehensive picture of the prevalence of frailty and factors associated to this condition in community-dwelling older adults. On the basis of the study results, a plan of community-based services could address the needs of care of the elderly population. A trained team of PHNs may be the most appropriate personnel to carry out multidimensional frailty assessment in this setting.
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