Assessing frailty indicators in the context of psychiatric disorder: A Delphi consensus study

Jennifer L. Sutton*, Rebecca L. Gould, Robert J. Howard

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives: Substantial construct overlap exists between indicators of frailty and symptoms of some psychiatric disorders. This study aimed to gain consensus of expert academic opinion on the potential impact of psychiatric illness on frailty assessment and how best to conceptualise and measure frailty indicators in the context of psychiatric symptoms. Design: A classic Delphi approach was employed across two studies to achieve consensus: The first-round questionnaire consisted of open-ended questions, analysed through content analysis. The results informed the development of statements for participants to rate their agreement with in subsequent Delphi rounds. Statements with ≥66% agreement were accepted. Delphi Study 1 recruited experts in frailty assessment (n = 13) and Delphi Study 2 recruited experts in frailty and psychiatric disorder (n = 8). Experts were recruited globally. Results: Overall, 40% of Delphi Study 1 statements and 43% of Delphi Study 2 statements were accepted. Primarily, consensus was reached for statements concerning the influence of depression/anxiety on frailty assessment and potential methods of conceptualising and measuring frailty indicators in the context of psychiatric symptoms. Little consensus was reached concerning the ease and importance of differentiating between frailty indicators and psychiatric assessment criteria with substantial overlap. Conclusions: The Delphi studies provide a novel exploration and consensus of expert academic opinions concerning the assessment of frailty indicators in the context of psychiatric symptoms. The results will inform future research into the adaptation or development of a frailty assessment tool specifically for use in older adult psychiatric populations.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
Volume37
Issue number1
Early online date6 Nov 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022

Keywords

  • Delphi study
  • frailty assessment
  • older adults
  • psychiatric disorder

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