Perceptions, practices and educational needs of community nurses to manage frailty

Constantina Papadopoulou*, Janette Barrie, Mandy Andrew, Janetta Martin, Audrey Birt, FJ Raymond Duffy, Anne Hendry

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
33 Downloads (Pure)


Early intervention on frailty can help prevent or delay functional decline and onset of dependency. Community nurses encounter patients with frailty routinely and have opportunities to influence frailty trajectories for individuals and their carers. This study aimed to understand nurses' perceptions of frailty in a community setting and their needs for education on its assessment and management. Using an exploratory qualitative design we conducted focus groups in one Health Board in Scotland. Thematic content analysis of data was facilitated by NVivo© software. A total of 18 nurses described the meaning of frailty as vulnerability, loss and complex comorbidity and identified processes of caring for people with frailty. They identified existing educational needs necessary to support their current efforts to build capability through existing adversities. Our study indicates that current practice is largely reactive, influenced by professional judgement and intuition, with little systematic frailty-specific screening and assessment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)136-142
Number of pages7
JournalBritish Journal of Community Nursing
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2 Mar 2021


  • community nursing
  • education
  • frailty
  • integrated care
  • nurses’ perceptions


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