Frailty Syndrome: Implications for Nursing Practice

Published:October 31, 2021DOI:


      • Frailty syndrome affects 17% of older adults across multiple health domains.
      • Adverse outcomes result from accumulated health deficits in frail older adults.
      • Physiological and psychosocial risk factors are part of comprehensive frailty assessment.
      • Validated frailty risk assessment tools enhance clinical identification and management.


      Frailty is a life-limiting medical syndrome associated with morbidity and mortality in older adults. The concept of frailty as a syndrome adds to our knowledge of aging and helps to expand the identification of risk factors and interventions to reduce disability and improve outcomes. Early identification through the use of validated risk assessment tools and targeted management of the frailty state in older adults is clinically important for nurse practitioners. Primary care and specialty care nurse practitioners are optimally positioned to facilitate comprehensive assessment and management of this evolving phenomena in the care of older adults.


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      Janice T. Hoff, DNP, GNP, specializes in care of the older adult and palliative care. She also serves as adjunct faculty at the University of West Florida School of Nursing in Pensacola, FL, and can be contacted at [email protected] .