Prevalence and associations of frailty in residents of Australian aged care facilities: findings from a retrospective cohort study

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Objectives: Studies conducted among older people have shown that frailty is a common condition associated with an array of adverse outcomes. The aims of this study were to identify the prevalence and associations of frailty in older people residing in several aged care facilities located in Queensland, Australia. Methods: The database used for this study was drawn from the Aged Care Funding Instrument (ACFI) database of an Australian aged care provider, and contained data from ten aged care facilities in Queensland, Australia. A modification of an eFI originally developed by Clegg and colleagues and based on Rockwood’s Frailty Index (FI) of cumulative deficits was used to identify frailty. Results: In total, 592 participants aged 75 years and over were included in the study (66.6% female). Median (IQR) age was 88.0 (9.0) years. Frailty prevalence among the sample was 43.6%, with 46.3% pre-frail and 10.1% not frail. In a multivariate logistic regression analysis incorporating three different models, frailty was significantly associated with three ACFI domains (Nutrition, Depression and Complex Health Care), along with facility size, consistently across two models. In the third model, frailty was also significantly associated with arthritis, diabetes, hypertension, osteoporosis and vision problems, along with male gender. Conclusion: There is a need to develop frailty identification and management programs as part of standard care pathways for older adults residing in aged care facilities. Aged care facilities should consider regular frailty screening in residential aged care residents, along with interventions addressing specific issues such as dysphagia and depression.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAging clinical and experimental research
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 Jan 2019



  • Frailty
  • Geriatric assessment
  • Residential facilities

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