Frailty, pain and psychological variables among older adults living in Hong Kong nursing homes: can we do better to address multimorbidities?

Mun Yee Mimi Tse, C. Lai, J. Y.W. Lui, E. Kwong, S. Y. Yeung

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

� 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd. UNLABELLED: WHAT IS KNOWN ON THE SUBJECT?: Frailty and multimorbidity are common in later life. A higher level of frailty is associated with a higher risk of adverse physical and psychological health situations. Older adults with pain have been reported to be lonelier and more depressed, as well as less happy and less satisfied with their life as compared to those without pain. In view of the high prevalence of pain among older adults and the reversibility of frailty, it is important to explore the relationship between pain, frailty and psychological parameters in order to devise patient-centred interventions. WHAT THIS PAPER ADDS TO EXISTING KNOWLEDGE?: Frailty index is positively correlated with the presence of pain, and associated with gender, functional mobility and loneliness. Among these significant variables, loneliness was the factor that contributed the most to the frailty index. WHAT ARE THE IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE?: It is essential to put the focus of healthcare on both the physical and psychological aspects of well-being. All nurses are advised to improve the management of pain in older people in order to lower the levels of pain, frailty and psychological distress among this population. Nursing care should address the loneliness level especially the problem of social loneliness among older adults particularly those living in nursing homes.ABSTRACT: Introduction In view of the high prevalence of pain among older adults and the reversibility of frailty, it is important to explore the relationship between pain, frailty and psychological parameters in order to devise patient-centred interventions. Aim To examine the levels of frailty, pain and psychological parameters among older adults living in Hong Kong nursing homes, and the cross-sectional relationships among these items. Methods A cross-sectional study was conducted among 178 residents from six nursing homes. Frailty, pain, mobility, happiness, loneliness and life satisfaction of participants were assessed using validated questionnaires. Results A multiple linear regression (R(2) �=�0.338, P�<�0.05) showed that the frailty index was associated with loneliness, functional mobility and gender. Among these significant variables, loneliness was the factor that contributed the most to the frailty index. Discussion It is essential to put the focus of healthcare on both the physical and psychological aspects of well-being. Findings suggest that apart from improving mobility and reducing pain, loneliness could be a target of psychosocial interventions to reduce frailty and improve quality of life. Implications for practice It is advised that nursing care should address loneliness, especially the problem of social loneliness among older adults particularly those living in nursing homes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-311
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing
Volume23
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2016

Keywords

  • elderly care
  • frailty
  • mental health promotion
  • older adults
  • pain
  • psychosocial intervention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health

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