Multicomponent frailty assessment tools for older people with psychiatric disorders: A systematic review

Jennifer L. Sutton, Rebecca L. Gould, Mark C. Coulson, Emma V. Ward, Aine M. Butler, Megan Smith, Grace Lavelle, Amy Rosa, Margaret Langridge, Robert J. Howard

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To review evidence evaluating the use of multicomponent frailty assessment tools in assessing frailty in older adults with psychiatric disorders. Methods: A systematic literature review was conducted to identify all multicomponent frailty assessment tools (ie, a tool that assesses two or more indicators of frailty). The items of each frailty assessment tool were compared with Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition (DSM-5) diagnostic criteria for psychiatric disorders to assess construct overlap. Studies conducted in community, inpatient, and outpatient clinical settings were considered for inclusion. Participants: Adults aged 60 years or older. Results: A total of 5639 records were identified following the removal of duplicates, from which 95 studies were included for review. Of the 48 multicomponent frailty assessment tools identified, no tool had been developed for, or validated in, older adult populations with a psychiatric disorder. Overall, 20 of 48 frailty assessment tools contained a psychological assessment domain, with 17 of 48 tools citing the presence of depressed mood and/or anxiety as a frailty indicator. Common areas of construct overlap in frailty assessment tools and DSM-5 diagnostic criteria included weight loss (29 of 48) and fatigue (21 of 48). Conclusions: Significant construct overlap exists between the indicators of frailty as conceptualized in existing frailty assessment tools and DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for common psychiatric disorders including major depressive episode and generalized anxiety disorder that has the potential to confound frailty assessment results. Further research is necessary to establish a reliable and valid tool to assess frailty in this population. J Am Geriatr Soc 67:1085–1095, 2019.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1085-1095
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2019


  • frailty assessment
  • psychiatric disorder

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