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Longitudinal changes in frailty prevalence and related factors in older adults living in long-term care facilities

Longitudinal changes in frailty prevalence and related factors in older adults living in long-term care facilities
frail older people; longitudinal studies; nursing; prevalence; residential facilities; risk factors
Issue Date
JOURNAL OF ADVANCED NURSING, v. 76, no. 7, page. 1679-1690
Aims: To investigate longitudinal changes in the prevalence of frailty and related factors in older adults residing in long-term care facilities (LTCFs) in Korea. Design: A longitudinal cohort study design. Methods: Three hundred and fifty adults (aged 65 and older) residing in 10 LTCFs between January 2014 and January 2016 in Korea were initially investigated. Among these, 182 participants were included in the final analysis. Fried's Cardiovascular Health Study index was used to assess frailty based on Freiheit and colleagues. Data analysed included descriptive statistics and repeated-measures multivariate analysis of variance. Results: The prevalence of frailty was 25.8%, 33.5% and 35.2% in 2014, 2015 and 2016, respectively. Differences in dependence of activities of daily living, number of chronic diseases, nutritional status and depression were statistically significant among the normal, pre-frail and frail groups at each year. Overall, from 2014–2016, the percentage of older adults decreased from 9.4–6.0% in the normal group and from 64.8%–58.8% in the pre-frail group, while increasing in the frail group from 25.8%–35.2%. Conclusion: The prevalence rate of frailty among older adults living in LTCFs was high and the rate of frail older adults gradually increased over time. Impact: Frailty is a comprehensive health condition and a dynamic, changeable state. This longitudinal study showed a high rate of frailty and dynamic change in frailty level over time among residents. Because frailty is dynamic in every older adult over time, management should be tailored according to the individual's state of frailty to prevent functional decline. Development of a comprehensive frailty assessment tool that can easily measure not only physical frailty but also the comprehensive aspects of frailty would be useful for older adults in LTCFs.
1365-2648; 0309-2402
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