Psychological Frailty and Quality of Life of Community Dwelling Older People: a Qualitative Study

L.J. Hoeyberghs*, J.M.G.A. Schols, D. Verte, N. De Witte, D-SCOPE Consortium

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Web of Science)


In general, frailty is associated with deficits and adverse health outcomes and a low quality of life. This study was designed to get more insight into older psychologically frail peoples' Quality of Life (QoL), lived experiences and personal strategies. Data of 121 community dwelling older people, were collected between November 2015 and March 2016, using a multi-actor and mixed-method approach. Of this sample, seven high psychological frail participants who experienced or expected an improvement of their QoL were selected. Psychological frailty was measured by the Comprehensive Frailty Assessment Instrument and QoL by using numeric rating scale. For the qualitative study, semi-structured interviews were conducted. The interviews were analyzed using an interpretative phenomenological approach. Respondents pointed financial resources, good health, connectedness, and meaningful activities as determinants for their QoL. Strategies to have or maintain a good QoL in later life, when confronted with frailty, were: adequate problem solving, support seeking, cognitive restructuring and religious coping mechanisms. Older people, despite being high psychologically frail, experience or can maintain or improve their QoL. As a consequence, all people involved with psychologically frail older people are encouraged to change their view towards the relationship between frailty and QoL and to focus more on individual's strengths and abilities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1395-1412
Number of pages18
JournalApplied Research in Quality of Life
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2020


  • adults
  • aging in-place
  • community dwelling older people
  • conceptualization
  • disability
  • experiences
  • frail older people
  • health
  • loneliness
  • mortality
  • psychological frailty
  • qualitative method
  • quality of life
  • risk
  • social connectedness
  • Qualitative method
  • Community dwelling older people
  • RISK
  • Psychological frailty
  • Quality of life
  • Frail older people

Cite this