Nurses’ Opinions on Frailty

Robbert Gobbens, Sofie Vermeiren, An van Hoof en Tjeerd van der Ploeg
Soort object
Abstract: Nurses come into frequent contact with frail older people in all healthcare settings. However, few studies have specifically asked nurses about their views on frailty. The main aim of this study was to explore the opinions of nurses working with older people on the concept of frailty, regardless of the care setting. In addition, the associations between the background characteristics of nurses and their opinions about frailty were examined. In 2021, members of professional association of nurses and nursing assistants in the Netherlands (V&VN) received a digital questionnaire asking their opinions on frailty, and 251 individuals completed the questionnaire (response rate of 32.1%). The questionnaire contained seven topics: keywords of frailty, frailty domains, causes of frailty, consequences of frailty, reversing frailty, the prevention of frailty, and addressing frailty. Regarding frailty, nurses especially thought of physical deterioration and dementia. However, other domains of human functioning, such as the social and psychological domains, were often mentioned, pointing to a holistic approach to frailty. It also appears that nurses can identify many causes and consequences of frailty. They see opportunities to reverse frailty and an important role for themselves in this process.