Validation of an integral conceptual model of frailty in older residents of assisted living facilities

R.J.J. Gobbens, A. Krans, M.A.L.M. van Assen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this cross-sectional study was to examine the validity of an integral model of the associations between life-course determinants, disease(s), frailty, and adverse outcomes in older persons who are resident in assisted living facilities.
Between June 2013 and May 2014 seven assisted living facilities were contacted. A total of 221 persons completed the questionnaire on life-course determinants, frailty (using the Tilburg Frailty Indicator), self-reported chronic diseases, and adverse outcomes disability, quality of life, health care utilization, and falls. Adverse outcomes were analyzed with sequential (logistic) regression analyses.
The integral model is partially validated. Life-course determinants and disease(s) affected only physical frailty. All three frailty domains (physical, psychological, social) together affected disability, quality of life, visits to a general practitioner, and falls. Contrary to the model, disease(s) had no effect on adverse outcomes after controlling for frailty. Life-course determinants affected adverse outcomes, with unhealthy lifestyle having consistent negative effects, and women had more disability, scored lower on physical health, and received more personal and informal care after controlling for all other predictors.
The integral model of frailty is less useful for predicting adverse outcomes of residents of assisted living facilities than for community-dwelling older persons, because these residents are much frailer and already have access to healthcare facilities.
Practical implications
The present study showed that a multidimensional assessment of frailty, distinguishing three domains of frailty (physical, psychological, social), is beneficial with respect to predicting adverse outcomes in residents of assisted living facilities.
Keywords: Frailty, Assisted living facilities, Disability, Quality of life, Health care utilization, Falls
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)400–410
JournalArchives of Gerontology and Geriatrics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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