Assessment and prevention of frailty in older adults

Section: Revisiones

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Peña Serrano A, Pérez Cabello S, Guerra Salvago M, Echegoyen Pedroarena M. Valoración y prevención de la fragilidad en el adulto mayor. Metas Enferm jun 2021; 24(5):22-31. Doi:


Ana Peña Serrano1, Sandra Pérez Cabello2, Marcela Guerra Salvago3, María Echegoyen Pedroarena4


1Graduada en Enfermería. Centro de Salud de Arnedo. Servicio Riojano de Salud. La Rioja 2Diplomada en Enfermería. Centro de Salud de Cervera del Río Alhama. Servicio Riojano de Salud. La Rioja 3Graduada en Enfermería. Complejo Hospitalario de Navarra. Servicio Navarro de Salud. Pamplona, Navarra 4Graduada en Enfermería. Centro de Salud de Aoiz. Servicio Navarro de Salud. Navarra

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Ana Peña Serrano. C/ Los Laureles, 15. 50500 Tarazona (Zaragoza).

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Objective: to review the frailty construct and summarize the evidence available on strategies for preventing frailty applicable in Primary Care.
Method: a narrative review was conducted, with bibliographic searches in the Medline-Pubmed, Scientific Electronic Library Online-SciELO and ScienceDirect databases, using the terms: “frailty”, “frail elderly”, “health promotion”.
Results: frailty represents a situation of higher vulnerability which predisposes persons to suffering adverse events. The frailty phenotype is under constant review, though there are two main models. The physical model by Fried identifies five dimensions in the construct: unintended weight loss, subjective feeling of fatigue, weakness with objective lack of strength, reduction in walking speed, and low physical activity. The Rockwood model is based on a build-up of deficiencies; up to 80 deficiencies are identified, and it includes different dimensions: physical, cognitive, emotional, and social. Some of the potential interventions to prevent frailty are: physical exercise, nutrition, psychological support, and management of comorbidities and polypharmacy.
Discussion: frailty has acquired an increasing importance in our setting, due to its high prevalence and its association with the development of adverse events; therefore, it is necessary for professionals to have an adequate knowledge about how to detect and manage this syndrome in older adults.


frailty; frail elderly person; health promotion

Versión en Español


Valoración y prevención de la fragilidad en el adulto mayor