Prevalence and risk factors of frailty phenotype among vulnerable solitary elderly individuals

Authors

  • Shu-Fang Chang PhD MSN RN,

    Associate Professor, Corresponding author
    1. Department of Nursing, College of Nursing, National Taipei University of Nursing and Health Sciences, Taipei, Taiwan
    • Correspondence: Shu-Fang Chang, Department of Nursing, College of Nursing, National Taipei University of Nursing and Health Sciences, 365 Ming Te Road, Pei-Tou, Taipei 112, Taiwan. Email: linda@ntunhs.edu.tw

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  • Rong-Sen Yang MD,

    Professor
    1. Department of Orthopaedics, National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan
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  • Hwa-Ming Nieh PhD,

    Assistant Professor
    1. Institute of Service Industries and Management, Minghsin University of Science and Technology, Hsinchu, Taiwan
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  • Gi-Mi Wen BSN

    Graduate Student
    1. Department of Nursing, College of Nursing, National Taipei University of Nursing and Health Sciences, Taipei, Taiwan
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Abstract

The World Health Organization has defined elderly individuals living independently as an ‘at risk’ group. This vulnerable population thus faces a disproportionate amount of frailty, disabilities and/or death. In this study, the total number of participants was 276, with 13 incomplete responses, resulting in 263 valid questionnaires. Frailty status of the subjects (n = 263) was evaluated according to the frailty criteria of osteoporotic fractures study. Overall, 35% of the study participants were frail, 19.8% were pre-frail and 45.2% were non-frail. Additionally, compared with non-frail, solitary elderly individuals with basic activities of daily living limitation or heart failure more easily became pre-frail. The research demonstrates a high prevalence of frailty in urban Taiwanese solitary elderly individuals. Pre-frailty and frailty significantly impacts health, owing to their strong association with cardiovascular disease, disability and fracture. Results of this study could provide a valuable reference material for health-care providers and potentially facilitate an important foundation for the planning of nursing interventions care.

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