Objectives To assess the 3-month impact on physical function of a program for community-dwelling frail older adults, based on the integration of primary care, geriatric medicine, and community resources, implemented in “real life”. Design Interventional cohort study. Setting Primary care in Barcelona, Spain. Participants Individuals aged ≥80 years (n=134), presenting at least one sign of frailty (i.e., slow gait speed, weakness, memory complaints, involuntary weight loss, poor social support). Intervention: After frailty screening by the primary care team, candidates were referred to a geriatric team (geriatrician + physical therapist), who performed a comprehensive geriatric assessment and designed a tailored multidisciplinary intervention in the community, including a) multi-modal physical activity (PA) sessions, b) promotion of adherence to a Mediterranean diet c) health education and d) medication review. Measurements Participants were assessed based on a comprehensive geriatric assessment including physical performance (Short Physical Performance Battery -SPPB- and gait speed), at baseline and at a three month follow-up. Results A total of 112 (83.6%) participants (mean age=80.8 years, 67.9% women) were included in this research. Despite being independent in daily life, participants’ physical performance was impaired (SPPB=7.5, SD=2.1, gait speed=0.71, SD=0.20 m/sec). After three months, 90.2% of participants completed ≥7.5 physical activity sessions. The mean improvements were +1.47 (SD 1.64) points (p<0.001) for SPPB, +0.08 (SD 0.13) m/sec (p<0.001) for gait speed, −5.5 (SD 12.10) sec (p<0.001) for chair stand test, and 53% (p<0.001) improved their balance. Results remained substantially unchanged after stratifying the analyses according to the severity of frailty. Conclusions Our results suggested that a “real-world” multidisciplinary intervention, integrating primary care, geriatric care, and community services may improve physical function, a marker of frailty, within 3 months. Further studies are needed to address the long-term impact and scalability of this implementation program.
Frailty; Integrated care; Primary care
Pérez LM, Enfedaque-Montes MB, Cesari M, Soto-Bagaria L, Gual N, Burbano MP, et al. A community program of integrated care for frail older adults: +AGIL Barcelona. J Nutr Health Aging. 2019 Aug ;23(8):710-6.
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