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

Shaw, Rachel L. and Gwyther, Holly and Holland, Carol and Bujnowska, Maria and Kurpas, Donata and Cano, Antonio and Marcucci, Maura and Riva, Silvia and D'Avanzo, Barbara (2018) Understanding frailty : meanings and beliefs about screening and prevention across key stakeholder groups in Europe. Ageing and Society, 38 (6). pp. 1223-1252. ISSN 0144-686X

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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. 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.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Ageing and Society
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? european innovation partnership on active and healthy ageing (eip-aha)european unionageingfrailtyqualitative researchthematic analysishealth(social science)geriatrics and gerontologypublic health, environmental and occupational health ??
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Deposited On:
07 Mar 2018 09:34
Last Modified:
15 Jul 2024 17:37