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Effects of a Multicomponent Frailty Prevention Program in Prefrail Community-Dwelling Older Persons: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Published:November 06, 2019DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jamda.2019.08.024

      Abstract

      Objective

      To examine the effects of a multicomponent frailty prevention program in community-dwelling older persons with prefrailty.

      Design

      A randomized controlled trial.

      Setting

      A community elderly center in Hong Kong.

      Participants

      Persons aged ≥50 years who scored 1-2 on a simple frailty questionnaire (FRAIL)

      Methods

      Participants (n = 127) were randomly assigned to a 12-week multicomponent frailty prevention program (exercise, cognitive training, board game activities) or to a wait-list control group. The primary outcomes were FRAIL scores, frailty status, and a combined frailty measure including subjective (FRAIL total score) and objective (grip strength, muscle endurance, balance, gait speed) measures. The secondary outcomes were verbal fluency assessed by dual-task gait speed, attention and memory assessed by digit span task, executive function assessed by the Frontal Assessment Battery, self-rated health, and life satisfaction. Assessments were conducted at baseline and at week 12.

      Results

      The mean age of the participants was 62.2 years, and 88.2% were women. At week 12, the FRAIL score had decreased in the intervention group (−1.3, P < .001) but had increased in the control group (0.3, P < .01) (between-group differences P < .001). In addition, 83.3% and 1.6% of the intervention and control groups, respectively, had reversed from prefrailty to robust phenotype (between-group differences P < .001). Participants in the intervention group also had a greater reduction in the combined frailty score and greater improvements in muscle endurance, balance, verbal fluency, attention and memory, executive function, and self-rated health than those in the control group (all P < .05). There were no significant differences between the groups with respect to grip strength, gait speed, and life satisfaction.

      Conclusions and implications

      The multicomponent frailty prevention program reduced frailty and improved physical and cognitive functions, and self-rated health in community-dwelling older persons with prefrailty. Findings can provide insights into the consideration of incorporating frailty prevention programs into the routine practice of community elderly services.

      Keywords

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