John Libbey Eurotext

Gériatrie et Psychologie Neuropsychiatrie du Vieillissement


Fragility and quality of life, the benefits of physical activity for the elderly Ahead of print

1 Gérontopôle des pays de la Loire, CHU Nantes, France
2 Jeanne et Léon développement, Bois-de-Cène, France
3 Pôle de Gérontologie clinique, CHU de Nantes, France
* Correspondance

Frailty and quality of life are concepts that emerged in the second half of the 20th century. Frailty can be defined as a clinical syndrome of decreased physiological reserves and resistance against stressful events conferring high risk for adverse health outcomes, including loss of independence, falls, hospitalization, institutionalization and mortality. However, it is considered that frailty can potentially be prevented or treated with specific modalities. Quality of life has various definitions because of its subjective nature. The World Health Organisation defined quality of life as “an individual's perception of their position in life in the context of the culture and value systems in which they live and in relation to their goals, expectations, standards and concerns”. The aim of this study is to review information regarding the potential association between frailty and quality of life in the elderly, and the effects of physical activity among different parameters of these phenomena. There are few studies that investigate links between frailty, quality of life and physical activity. However, results tend to show that physical aspects of frailty syndrome are inversely proportional to the quality of life in several of its dimensions. Furthermore, community-based exercise programs involving the elderly seem to improve the quality of life. Considering that physical activity can potentially have an impact on the quality of life among frail elderly and promote healthy aging, further research will be necessary to corroborate these results.