Development of frailty indicators for the community-dwelling older adults

Mei Chen Kuo, Ching-Min Chen, Chii Jeng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Faster than anticipated increases in population, aging is making the issue of frailty among the elderly increasingly important. Despite general agreement that a frailty assessment is important for planning care for the older adults, a lack of consensus remains regarding the best methodology to use for frailty assessments. Purpose: The aim of this study was first to cross-examine results between perception of frailty and physical assessment outcomes then try to establish frailty indicators for elderly people in Taiwan. Methods: This study used both qualitative and quantitative methods. FromAugust to September 2010, researchers recruited a convenience sample of 10 community older adults from six different elderly centers in northern Taiwan. Qualitative in-depth interviews were conducted in Mandarin or Taiwanese and audiotaped. After the in-depth interview, researchers conducted a series of physical assessments on the participants. Results: Ten elderly women were interviewed and assessed. The three themes identified by this study related to frailty perception included overall physical function performance, psychological health, and physiological health. These reflected the concept of successful aging. Participant frailty was compared with subjective perceptions to identify and/or check for consistency between qualitative and quantitative results. Although quantitative results revealed that participantswere in fairly good health, there were many complaints about frailty during the qualitative interview. Better sensitive measures reflecting frailty changes are thus needed. Conclusions: These indicators can be considered as an integration of all maintained functions. We hope that results will provide better insights into understanding the process of frailty among the older adults.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-271
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Nursing Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012


  • Frailty
  • Frailty indicator
  • Triangulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing


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