Frailty matters project

F J R Duffy, C Papadopolou, J Barrie, A Hendry, M Andrew, J Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstractpeer-review


Preventing and managing frailty is a new area for many community practitioners yet frailty specific education remains limited. We aimed to understand and strengthen the capability of District Nurses (DNs) in leading personalised care for older people with frailty.

We conducted a participatory action research (PAR) study with DNs in one Scottish NHS Board area. Phase 1 involved three focus groups (n = 17); one one-to-one interviews; and collection of baseline team dynamics questionnaires (n = 10). Evidence from phase 1 informed co-design of an educational framework, delivered in Phase 2 as a combined coaching and educational programme through small group learning, web based coaching and bite sized online education. Interactive sessions were supported by a person-centred coach and 2 older citizen ‘co-coaches’ to bring the experience of people affected by frailty. In Phase 3 we analysed participant feedback and assessed transferability to other disciplines and to health and care settings across the UK.

At baseline, DNs did not perceive frailty as a long term condition. They identified a need for help to understand the concept of frailty and to build skills and confidence in delivering community interventions. Participants embraced the coaching and educational intervention and valued the opportunity for dialogue with peers and citizen co-coaches about what really matters to patients, families and professionals. Our survey of other disciplines and teams highlighted this educational programme is both relevant and transferable.

Through co-design we developed a contextually sensitive programme that makes sense of frailty in the reality of both community professionals and people living with frailty. Combining technical knowledge and relational skills-building with peer support and coaching helps prepare DNs to lead interprofessional teams caring for people living with frailty. The educational framework and combined coaching and educational package are highly applicable to interdisciplinary teams in other community settings.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberafac036.799
JournalAge and Ageing
Issue numberSupplement 1
Publication statusPublished - 8 Mar 2022


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