The impact of multidimensional frailty on dependency in activities of daily living and the moderating effects of protective factors

Anne van der Vorst*, Linda P. M. Veld, Nico De Witte, Jos M. G. A. Schols, Gertrudis I. J. M. Kempen, G. A. Rixt Zijlstra

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: Dependency in activities of daily living (ADL) might be caused by multidimensional frailty. Prevention is important as ADL dependency might threaten the ability to age in place. Therefore, this study aimed to assess whether protective factors, derived from a systematic literature review, moderate the relationship between multidimensional frailty and ADL dependency, and whether this differs across age groups. Methods: A longitudinal study with a follow-up after 24 months was conducted among 1027 community-dwelling people aged >= 65 years. Multidimensional frailty was measured with the Tilburg Frailty Indicator, and ADL dependency with the ADL subscale from the Groningen Activity Restriction Scale. Other measures included socio-demographic characteristics and seven protective factors against ADL dependency, such as physical activity and non-smoking. Logistic regression analyses with interaction terms were conducted. Results: Frail older people had a twofold risk of developing ADL dependency after 24 months in comparison to non-frail older people (OR = 2.12, 95% CI = 1.45-3.00). The selected protective factors against ADL dependency did not significantly moderate this relationship. Nonetheless, higher levels of physical activity decreased the risk of becoming ADL dependent (OR = 0.67, 95% CI = 0.46-0.98), as well as having sufficient financial resources (OR = 0.49, 95% CI = 0.35-0.71). Conclusion: Multidimensional frail older people have a higher risk of developing ADL dependency. The studied protective factors against ADL dependency did not significantly moderate this relationship.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-260
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Gerontology and Geriatrics
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2018


  • Aging in Place
  • Disablement process
  • Longitudinal study
  • Moderator
  • Preventive health care
  • Successful aging

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