Interventions to prevent disability in frail community-dwelling older persons: an overview

Ramon Daniels*, Silke Metzelthin, Erik van Rossum, Luc P. de Witte, Wim van den Heuvel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This narrative review was conducted to provide an overview of the variety of interventions aimed at disability prevention in community-dwelling frail older persons and to summarize promising elements. The search strategy and selection process found 48 papers that met the inclusion criteria. The 49 interventions described in these 48 papers were categorized into 'comprehensive geriatric assessment', 'physical exercise', 'nutrition', 'technology', and 'other interventions'. There is a large diversity within and between the groups of interventions in terms of content, disciplines involved, duration, intensity, and setting. For 18 of the 49 interventions, significant positive effects for disability were reported for the experimental group. Promising features of interventions seem to be: multidisciplinary and multifactorial, individualized assessment and intervention, case management, long-term follow-up, physical exercise component (for moderate physically frail older persons), and the use of technology. Future intervention studies could combine these elements and consider the addition of new elements.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-55
JournalEuropean Journal of Ageing
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2010


  • Frail older persons
  • Disability prevention
  • Review
  • Frailty
  • Activities of daily living

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