The association between frailty and quality of life when aging in place

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BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Advanced age is often associated with frailty, which in turn is associated with low quality of life. This study explores to what extent multidimensional frailty is associated with multidimensional quality of life.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: A cross-sectional survey study was conducted in a sample of 336 Flemish older people aging in place. Data were collected between 2014 and 2016 using two multidimensional self-reporting instruments; the Comprehensive Frailty Assessment Instrument to assess frailty and the World Health Organization Quality of Life Instrument-Short Version to assess quality of life. Bivariate analyses were used to explore the relationship between quality of life, associated factors of quality of life and frailty.

RESULTS: The mean age of the respondents was 74.9 years and 71.7% were woman. An inverse correlation was found between frailty and quality of life (r = -.683) and the corresponding subdomains. Nevertheless, some respondents perceived their quality of life as high, although they were defined as mild to high frail. Further analysis indicated that neither socio-demographic factors nor being ill contributed to quality of life.

DISCUSSION AND IMPLICATIONS: Psychological frailty contributed the most to quality of life. However, the results indicate that frailty does not inevitably leads to a lower quality of life and that other factors, besides frailty, play an important role in determining quality of life. Knowledge about these factors and their mutual relationship can help policymakers and services in providing client-centered care to increase or maintain the quality of life of people aging in place.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103915
JournalArchives of Gerontology and Geriatrics
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jul 2019

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2019 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Frail Elderly/statistics & numerical data
  • Frailty
  • Humans
  • Independent Living/psychology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life/psychology
  • Self Report


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