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Swedish Health Care Professionals' View of Frailty in Older Persons

Journal article
Authors Susanne Gustafsson
A. K. Edberg
Synneve Dahlin-Ivanoff
Published in Journal of Applied Gerontology
Volume 31
Issue 5
Pages 622-640
ISSN 0733-4648
Publication year 2012
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Clinical Neuroscience and Rehabilitation
Pages 622-640
Language en
Keywords frail elderly, focus groups, qualitative research, functional decline, elderly-people, experiences, disability, community, perspective, definition, judgment, adults, team
Subject categories Health Sciences


There is a paucity of research literature concerning frailty in older persons from the health care professionals' perspective. Consequently, the purpose of this study was to elucidate health care professionals' view of frailty in older persons. An explorative, qualitative design was selected and four focus groups comprising 21 health care professionals were conducted, audiotaped, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed. Frailty was found to consist of seven dimensions: "being bodily weak and ill," "being negatively influenced by personal qualities," "lacking balance in everyday activities," "being dependent in everyday life," "not being considered important," "being hindered by the physical milieu and defective community service," and "having an inadequate social network." The results showed that health care professionals' view of frailty in older persons differed from the current state of knowledge on frailty. This implies that the seven dimensions found to constitute frailty could contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of the concept.

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