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Association of frail index and quality of life among community-dwelling older adults

Authors

  • Shu-Fang Chang PhD, MSN, RN,

    Professor, Corresponding author
    1. School of Nursing, College of Nursing, National Taipei University of Nursing and Health Sciences, Taipei, Taiwan, ROC
    • Correspondence: Shu-Fang Chang, Professor, School of Nursing, College of Nursing, National Taipei University of Nursing and Health Sciences, 365 Ming Te Road, Pei-Tou, Taipei 112, Taiwan, ROC. Telephone: +886(2)28227101 Ext.3109.

      E-mail: linda@ntunhs.edu.tw

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  • Gi-Mi Wen RN

    Graduate student
    1. School of Nursing, College of Nursing, National Taipei University of Nursing and Health Sciences, Taipei, Taiwan, ROC
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Abstract

Aims and objectives

To examine the independent effect of frailty on quality of life.

Background

The World Health Organisation has proposed that frailty be used to indicate a lack of successful ageing. However, studies investigating the relationship between frail phenotypes and quality of life are lacking.

Design

This research employed a cross-sectional design.

Methods

The Study of Osteoporotic Fractures index was used based on the following three criteria: unexpected weight loss, inability to rise from a chair without using the armrests five times, and feeling a lack of energy. Participants who fulfilled more than two, one or zero criteria were considered as frail, prefrail or robust respectively. Moreover, this study used the Taiwanese version of the World Health Organisation Quality of Life-BREF to assess the quality of life of older people. A multiple linear regression was performed to investigate the independent effect of frail status on each quality of life subscale.

Results

A total of 239 older people [average age = 74·77 years; standard deviation = 7·02 years; 104 males (43·5%) and 135 females (56·5%)] participated in this study. The multiple linear regression analysis showed that the older people who were more advanced in age and had been diagnosed with a greater number of chronic diseases had a lower comprehensive quality of life. The Study of Osteoporotic Fractures index was associated only with the environmental domain of the World Health Organisation Quality of Life-BREF.

Conclusions

Compared with robust and prefrail older people, frail older people have worse biomarkers, health statuses, and quality of life. The Study of Osteoporotic Fractures index was correlated only with the quality of life environmental domain.

Relevance to clinical practice

Professional nurses must understand the differences among frail, prefrail and robust older people with regard to their biomarkers, health status, and quality of life. In addition, a comprehensive nursing intervention programme must be developed to improve the quality of life of older people.

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