The effectiveness of nurse-led interventions to manage frailty in community-dwelling older people: a systematic review

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Systematic Reviews


Background: The global increase in the number of frail older people and the accompanying increase in chronic conditions underline the need to develop effective health promotion and preventive interventions for these population groups. Wide ranging of physical, psychological, and social health factors influence frailty in older people and leads to increased vulnerability to many adverse outcomes. To reverse or reduce the progression of frailty, nurses play a pivotal role in delivering health promotion and preventive interventions. The purpose of the review is to determine the effectiveness of nurse-led interventions in reducing frailty in community-dwelling older people. Methods: The following electronic databases: PubMed, MEDLINE, Web of Science, SCOPUS, CINAHL, PsychInfo, and WHO Global Index Medicus were searched until June 2022. Nurse-led, "nurse led", education, training, intervention, program, teaching, frail*, fragile*, "frailty syndrome", debility, infirmity, elder*, aged*, old*, geriatric, "community based settings", "community-based", "community setting", community were the search terms. Before data extraction, eligible articles were assessed for their methodological quality. The JBI critical appraisal checklist for reporting experimental studies was utilised to appraise the methodological quality of the studies. Data were systematically examined using a narrative review to determine the effectiveness of the intervention. Results: Of the 156 studies identified, from the search, six studies with samples ranging from 40 to 1387 older people were eligible for inclusion in the review. Two quasi-experimental studies and one Randomised Controlled Trial (RCT) showed a moderate risk of bias. The Nurse-led frailty interventions used a multi-component intervention approach across the studies. The interventions reversed frailty progression, improve physical functioning, nutritional status, and quality of life, enhance perceptions of social support, improve mental health, and reduce depression. Conclusions: Few studies have explored the effectiveness of a nurse-led intervention to decrease frailty in older people. Evaluating physical functioning, nutritional status, mental health, and quality of life in community-dwelling frail older people can contribute to developing appropriate interventions. Systematic review registration: PROSPERO ID of CRD42022348064.

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