Table of Contents
Advances in Geriatrics
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 845356, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/845356
Clinical Study

Developing Interventions for Frailty

1John Walsh Centre for Rehabilitation Research, Sydney Medical School Northern, The University of Sydney, St Leonards, NSW 2065, Australia
2Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Health Service, Palmerston Road, Hornsby, NSW 2077, Australia
3Sydney Nursing School, The University of Sydney, Camperdown, NSW 2050, Australia

Received 9 June 2014; Revised 12 January 2015; Accepted 12 January 2015

Academic Editor: Emanuele Marzetti

Copyright © 2015 Ian D. Cameron et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Frailty is a well-recognised, complex syndrome, predominantly affecting older people. Currently, there are two main conceptualizations of frailty: the phenotypic and the accumulated deficit models, with the phenotypic model being more widely applied in clinical research. Based on these models, we contend that a number of the phenotypic frailty components (weakness, slowness, and low energy expenditure) are potentially reversible. This paper outlines the results of a frailty research program. It summarizes the initial frailty treatment model and reports its effectiveness. Briefly, the effect of a twelve-month individually tailored multifactorial, interdisciplinary intervention targeting frailty was compared with usual care. The intervention reduced phenotypically defined frailty and improved mobility. Further, it is contended that there is evidence of substantial unmet need due to treatment fragmentation and the absence of a comprehensive approach for this population. Our paper then outlines the current stage of our research in which the model is now being extended to prefrailty. Interventions aimed at reversing the frailty syndrome or its consequences are only in their early stages. There is significant scope for future research to identify optimal management programs for frail older people.