Review

European Journal of Ageing

, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp 37-55

Interventions to prevent disability in frail community-dwelling older persons: an overview

  • Ramon DanielsAffiliated withFaculty of Health and Care, Zuyd University of Applied SciencesCentre of Research on Autonomy and Participation, Zuyd University of Applied SciencesCentre of Research on Technology in Health Care, Zuyd University of Applied Sciences Email author 
  • , Silke MetzelthinAffiliated withSchool for Public Health and Primary Care, Maastricht University
  • , Erik van RossumAffiliated withCentre of Research on Autonomy and Participation, Zuyd University of Applied SciencesCentre of Research on Technology in Health Care, Zuyd University of Applied SciencesSchool for Public Health and Primary Care, Maastricht University
  • , Luc de WitteAffiliated withCentre of Research on Technology in Health Care, Zuyd University of Applied SciencesSchool for Public Health and Primary Care, Maastricht University
  • , Wim van den HeuvelAffiliated withSchool for Public Health and Primary Care, Maastricht University

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Abstract

This narrative review was conducted to provide an overview of the variety of interventions aimed at disability prevention in community-dwelling frail older persons and to summarize promising elements. The search strategy and selection process found 48 papers that met the inclusion criteria. The 49 interventions described in these 48 papers were categorized into ‘comprehensive geriatric assessment’, ‘physical exercise’, ‘nutrition’, ‘technology’, and ‘other interventions’. There is a large diversity within and between the groups of interventions in terms of content, disciplines involved, duration, intensity, and setting. For 18 of the 49 interventions, significant positive effects for disability were reported for the experimental group. Promising features of interventions seem to be: multidisciplinary and multifactorial, individualized assessment and intervention, case management, long-term follow-up, physical exercise component (for moderate physically frail older persons), and the use of technology. Future intervention studies could combine these elements and consider the addition of new elements.

Keywords

Frail older persons Disability prevention Review Frailty Activities of daily living