Early detection of frailty in elders is important to prevent its complications. The development of a self-administered questionnaire may reduce the burden for the medical community and be an opportunity for empowering elders to identify frailty themselves and raising frailty awareness. ILC-France reports the results of a study published online in February 2023 in the Journal of Frailty & Aging.

Frailty is one of the most powerful risk factor for the loss of autonomy, hospitalizations and death. Unfortunately, frailty is not detected in most elders due to the cost of screening in specialized units and to the shortage in general practitioners in most countries. So self-detection appears to be the most valuable tool for an early detection.

Several questionnaires have been proposed but most of time administered by health professionals.

In order to address this difficulty, ILC France has decided to initiate a study for the early detection of frailty by adapting the SOF index usually administered by doctors and nurses, as a self-screening questionnaire sent by mail to elders 70 years and older.

The self-screening questionnaire includes three very simple questions which has been sent to 5134 retired people aged 70 or more (mean age 78.9), the responders benefiting of the visit of a trained nurse.

The three questions are
– In the past year have you lost 5% or more of your usual weight?
– Can you rise from a chair five times without using your arms?
– Do you feel without energy, much more tired than usual?

The present study confirms that this self-administered screening questionnaire adapted from the SOF index can be easily used in subjects who might benefit from the healthy ageing promotion and prevention programs.

This simple and easy to apply tool may represent, as well, an opportunity for empowering elders to identify frailty themselves and raising frailty awareness.

Each ILC can of course use this ILC France tool to identify frailty in its population.

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