The Tilburg Frailty Indicator (TFI): New Evidence for Its Validity

Dr. R.J.J. Gobbens, Petra Boersma, Izabella Uchmanowicz en Livia Maria Santiago
Soort object
Objective: The Tilburg Frailty Indicator (TFI) is a self-report user-friendly questionnaire for assessing multidimensional frailty among community-dwelling older people. The main aim of this study is to re-evaluate the validity of the TFI, both cross-sectionally and longitudinally, focusing on the predictive value of the total TFI and its physical, psychological, and social domains for adverse outcomes disability, indicators of healthcare utilization, and falls. Methods: The validity of the TFI was determined in a sample of 180 Dutch communitydwelling older people aged 70 years and older. The participants completed questionnaires including the TFI, the Groningen Activity Restriction Scale (GARS) for assessing disability, and questions with regard to health care utilization and falls in 2016 and again one year later. Results: The physical and psychological domains of the TFI were significantly correlated as expected with adverse outcomes disability, many indicators of healthcare utilization, and falls. Regression analyses showed that physical frailty was mostly responsible for the effect of frailty on the adverse outcomes. The cross-sectional and longitudinal predictive validity of total frailty with respect to disability and receiving personal care was excellent, evidenced by Areas Under the Curves (AUCs) >0.8. In most cases, using the cut-off point 5 for total frailty ensured the best values for sensitivity and specificity. Conclusion: The present study provided new, additional evidence for the validity of the TFI for assessing frailty in Dutch community-dwelling older people aiming to prevent or delay adverse outcomes, including disability.