Get access

Self-rated health and health-strengthening factors in community-living frail older people




The aim of this study was to analyse the explanatory power of variables measuring health-strengthening factors for self-rated health among community-living frail older people.


Frailty is commonly constructed as a multi-dimensional geriatric syndrome ascribed to the multi-system deterioration of the reserve capacity in older age. Frailty in older people is associated with decreased physical and psychological well-being. However, knowledge about the experiences of health in frail older people is still limited.


The design of the study was cross-sectional.


The data were collected between October 2008 and November 2010 through face-to-face structured interviews with older people aged 65–96 years (N = 161). Binary logistic regression was used to analyse whether a set of explanatory relevant variables is associated with self-rated health.


The results from the final model showed that satisfaction with one's ability to take care of oneself, having 10 or fewer symptoms and not feeling lonely had the best explanatory power for community-living frail older peoples' experiences of good health.


The results indicate that a multi-disciplinary approach is desirable, where the focus should not only be on medical problems but also on providing supportive services to older people to maintain their independence and experiences of health despite frailty.