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Title: Older adults' perceptions and informational needs regarding frailty
Authors: Schoenborn, N.L
Van Pilsum Rasmussen, S.E
Xue, Q.-L
Walston, J.D
McAdams-Demarco, M.A 
Segev, D.L
Boyd, C.M
Keywords: aged
attitude to health
elderly care
frail elderly
geriatric assessment
independent living
information processing
qualitative research
very elderly
Aged, 80 and over
Focus Groups
Frail Elderly
Geriatric Assessment
Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
Health Services for the Aged
Independent Living
Qualitative Research
Issue Date: 2018
Citation: Schoenborn, N.L, Van Pilsum Rasmussen, S.E, Xue, Q.-L, Walston, J.D, McAdams-Demarco, M.A, Segev, D.L, Boyd, C.M (2018). Older adults' perceptions and informational needs regarding frailty. BMC Geriatrics 18 (1) : 46. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Rights: Attribution 4.0 International
Abstract: Background: Frailty has been recognized as an important medical syndrome in older adults. Growing literature supports the clinical application of frailty but US older adults' perceptions of frailty have not been explored. We aim to examine perceptions and informational needs about frailty among older adults. Methods: This was a qualitative study involving focus groups of community-dwelling older adults with diverse age and frailty status. We explored participants' beliefs and knowledge about frailty and informational needs about frailty as a medical syndrome. Results: The participants' mean age was 76.3. Of the 29 participants, 21 (72%) were female, and 21 (72%) were white. We identified three major themes: 1) Older adults' perceptions of frailty differed from the definition used in medical literature; they often perceived a psychological component to being frailty and some were skeptical of the syndromic definition based on multiple symptoms. 2) Compared to participants who were non-frail or pre-frail, participants who were frail were more receptive to discussing their frailty status with clinicians; 3) Participants wanted know about how to treat or prevent frailty and the risks associated with being frail. Many participants felt that these information can be conveyed without necessarily using the specific term "frail", which they perceived to have a negative connotation. Conclusions: Older adults, especially those who are frail, may be interested to discuss frailty as a medical syndrome. However, negative perceptions are associated with the term "frail" and may be a barrier to clinical application of frailty. Further research is needed to understand acceptable ways for communicating about frailty in clinical practice. © 2018 The Author(s).
Source Title: BMC Geriatrics
ISSN: 14712318
DOI: 10.1186/s12877-018-0741-3
Rights: Attribution 4.0 International
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