Understanding consumer perceptions of frailty screening to inform knowledge translation and health service improvements

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background and Objectives: despite growing support for the clinical application of frailty, including regular frailty screening for older adults, little is known about how older adults perceive frailty screening. The purpose of this study was to examine older adults’ perspectives on frailty screening to inform knowledge translation and health service improvements for older adults with frailty.
Research Design: interpretive descriptive qualitative design.
Participants: a total of 39 non-frail (18%), pre-frail (33%) and frail or very frail (49%) South Australian older adults aged 62–99 years, sampled from community, assisted living and residential aged care settings.
Methods: seven focus groups were conducted and analysed by two independent investigators using inductive thematic analysis.
Results: three themes were identified. First, older adults question the necessity and logic of an objective frailty measure. Second, older adults believe any efforts at frailty screening need to culminate in an action. Third, older adults emphasise that frailty screening needs to be conducted sensitively given negative perceptions of the term frailty and the potential adverse effects of frailty labelling.
Discussion and Implications: previous screening experiences and underlying beliefs about the nature of frailty as inevitable shaped openness to, and acceptance of, frailty screening. Findings correspond with previous research illuminating the lack of public awareness of frailty and the nascent stage of frailty screening implementation. Incorporating consumer perspectives, along with perspectives of other stakeholder groups when considering implementing frailty screening, is likely to impact uptake and optimise suitability—important considerations in person-centred care provision.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages6
JournalAge and Ageing
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Oct 2020

Keywords

  • Consumer Perceptions
  • Knowledge Translation
  • Health Service

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