The Development of Multidimensional Frailty Over Seven Years A longitudinal study among Dutch community-dwelling older people using the Tilburg Frailty Indicator

R.J.J. Gobbens en T. van der Ploeg
Soort object
Purpose: To examine the development of multidimensional frailty, including physical, psychological and socialcomponents, over a period of seven years. To determine the effects of sociodemographic factors (gender, age, marital status, education, income) on the development of frailty. Methods: : This longitudinal study was conducted in sample of 479 community-dwelling people aged ≥ 75 years living in the municipality of Roosendaal, the Netherlands. The Tilburg Frailty Indicator (TFI), a self-report questionnaire, was used to collect data about frailty. Frailty was assessed annually. Results: : Frailty increased significantly over seven years among the people who completed the entire TFI all years (n = 121), the average score was 3.75 (SD 2.80) at baseline and 5.05 (SD 3.18) after seven years. Regarding frailty transitions, most participants remained unchanged from their baseline status. The transition from non-frail to frail was present in 8.3% to 12.6% of the participants and 5.1% to 10.7% made a transition from frail to non frail. Gender (woman), age (≥80 years), marital status (not married/cohabiting), high level of education, and incomes from €601-€1800 were significantly associated with a higher frailty score. Conclusion: : This study showed that multidimensional frailty, assessed with the TFI, increased among Dutch community-dwelling people aged ≥75 years using a follow-up of seven years. Gender, age, marital status, ed ucation, and income were associated with frailty transitions. These findings provide healthcare professionals clues to identify people at increased risk of frailty, and target interventions which aim to prevent or delay frailty and its adverse outcomes, such as disability and mortality.