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Understanding frailty and pre-frailty to improve chronic wound management in older people: A study protocol

Authors: Duygu Sezgin (Corresponding author), Aaron Liew, Georgina Gethin
DOI: 10.35279/jowm2023.24.01.02
First published 21 December 2022


Frailty is a geriatric syndrome associated with limited function, reduced quality of life and premature death. Chronic conditions, such as diabetes and vascular disease leading to chronic ulceration, may increase the risk of frailty. If chronic wounds are a strong predictor of frailty, researchers and practitioners should proactively and effectively manage both the wound and the potential underlying frailty issues. However, there is a paucity of research evidence in this area.

We aim to identify the prevalence of frailty and prefrailty in older adults with chronic leg ulcers and/or diabetes, and investigate the associations between having diabetes and chronic leg ulcers and being pre-frail or frail.

Descriptive and cross sectional study protocol.

Data collection
Frailty and pre-frailty status will be identified using two separate tools: the Groningen Frailty Indicator (self-reported) for multidimensional frailty screening, and the five criteria of the Physical Frailty Phenotype for physical frailty assessment.

Patients aged ≥65 years with chronic leg ulcers and/or diabetes will be recruited from two hospitals in the west of Ireland.

Data analysis
Associations between the frailty and pre-frailty prevalence and wound aetiology and duration, age, gender and co-comorbidities will be explored using descriptive and comparative analyses.