Buckinx F, Rolland Y, Reginster JY, Ricour C, Petermans J, Bruyère O. Burden of frailty in the elderly population: perspectives for a public health challenge. Arch Public Health. 2015; 73:(1)

British Geriatrics Society. CGA in primary care settings: patients presenting with mobility and balance issues. 2019. (accessed 4 September 2023)

Chou CH, Hwang CL, Wu YT. Effect of exercise on physical function, daily living activities, and quality of life in the frail older adults: a meta-analysis. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2012; 93:(2)237-244

Cilla F, Sabione I, D'Amelio P. Risk factors for early hospital readmission in geriatric patients: a systematic review. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2023; 20:(3)

Collard RM, Boter H, Schoevers RA, Oude Voshaar RC. Prevalence of frailty in community-dwelling older persons: a systematic review. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2012; 60:(8)1487-1492

Costa SN, Ferreira LHB, Bento PCB. Effects of home-based exercise programs on mobility, muscle strength, balance, and gait in community-dwelling older adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis. J Aging Phys Act. 2023; 31:(4)693-704

Freiberger E, Sieber CC, Kob R. Mobility in older community-dwelling persons: a narrative review. Front Physiol. 2020; 11

Higgins JP, Savović J, Page MJ, Elbers RG, Sterne JAC. Chapter 8: assessing risk of bias in a randomized trial, 2nd edn. In: Higgins JP, Thomas J, Chandler J, Cumpston M, Li T, Page MJ, Welch VA. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell; 2019

Jadczak AD, Makwana N, Luscombe-Marsh N, Visvanathan R, Schultz TJ. Effectiveness of exercise interventions on physical function in community-dwelling frail older people: an umbrella review of systematic reviews. JBI Database System Rev Implement Rep. 2018; 16:(3)752-775

Kojima G, Liljas AEM, Iliffe S. Frailty syndrome: implications and challenges for health care policy. Risk Manag Healthc Policy. 2019; 12:23-30

Lineberry N, Berlin JA, Mansi B Recommendations to improve adverse event reporting in clinical trial publications: a joint pharmaceutical industry/journal editor perspective. BMJ. 2016; 355

NHS England. Frailty toolkit. Optimising a frailty system. 2019. (accessed 4 September 2023)

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. Mental wellbeing in over 65s: occupational therapy and physical activity interventions: Public health guideline [PH16]. Recommendation 4: Training. 2008. (accessed 4 September 2023)

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. Dementia, disability and frailty in later life—mid-life approaches to delay or prevent onset. 2015. (accessed 4 September 2023)

Nikitas C, Kikidis D, Bibas A, Pavlou M, Zachou Z, Bamiou DE. Recommendations for physical activity in the elderly population: a scoping review of guidelines. J Frailty Sarcopenia Falls. 2022; 7:(1)18-28

Ross LA, Schmidt EL, Ball K. Interventions to maintain mobility: what works?. Accid Anal Prev. 2013; 61:167-196

Shea BJ, Reeves BC, Wells G AMSTAR 2: a critical appraisal tool for systematic reviews that include randomised or non-randomised studies of healthcare interventions, or both. BMJ. 2017; 358

Short physical performance battery (SPPB) guide. Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB) Guide. 2021. (accessed 4 September 2023)

Tang KF, Teh PL, Lee SWH. Cognitive frailty and functional disability among community-dwelling older adults: a systematic review. Innov Aging. 2023; 7:(1)

Treacy D, Hassett L, Schurr K, Fairhall NJ, Cameron ID, Sherrington C. Mobility training for increasing mobility and functioning in older people with frailty. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2022; 6:(6)

Introduction to frailty. Fit for frailty part 1. 2014. (accessed 4 September 2023)

Webber SC, Porter MM, Menec VH. Mobility in older adults: a comprehensive framework. Gerontologist. 2010; 50:(4)443-450

World Health Organization. Global recommendations on physical activity for health. 2010. (accessed 4 September 2023)

World Health Organization. WHO clinical consortium on healthy ageing: topic focus: frailty and intrinsic capacity. 2017. (accessed 4 September 2023)

World Health Organization. Ageing and health. 2022. (accessed 4 September 2023)

Zhang Y, Zhang Y, Du S, Wang Q, Xia H, Sun R. Exercise interventions for improving physical function, daily living activities and quality of life in community-dwelling frail older adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Geriatr Nurs. 2020; 41:(3)261-273

Zhao W, Hu P, Sun W, Wu W, Zhang J, Deng H, Huang J, Ukawa S, Lu J, Tamakoshi A, Liu X. Effect of physical activity on the risk of frailty: a systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS One. 2022; 17:(12)

Effectiveness of mobility training for frail older adults living in the community

02 October 2023
Volume 28 · Issue 10


Frailty in older adults is a major health concern for individuals, families and society. Increasing physical activity helps to reduce frailty in older adults and improve health outcomes. Mobility is also essential to independence and well-being in older adults. A systematic review was undertaken to explore the impact of mobility training on older persons living with frailty in the community. This commentary critically appraises the review and explores the implications for practice.

Frailty is a term used to describe an increased vulnerability to adverse health outcomes, commonly due to the ageing process (WHO, 2017). It is characterised by a decline in the reserve and function of the overall body system and a reduced ability to cope with acute stressors, predisposing slow recovery from illness and a higher risk of hospitalisation and mortality (Turner, 2014). Within the community dwelling elderly, there is an estimated prevalence of frailty of between 4–59% (Collard et al, 2012).

Life expectancy has significantly increased worldwide due to the advancement of medical treatments and improved public health awareness (Kojima et al, 2019). By 2050, the world's population aged 60 years and over is projected to double to 2.1 billion adults, and for those aged 80 years and above, the number will triple to reach 426 million (WHO, 2022). The increase in the aging population can lead to the development of more chronic diseases due to a decline in an individual's physical and cognitive function (Office for National Statistics, 2018). Frailty has consequently become a major health condition associated with ageing, placing burden and cost on both the individual and society (Buckinx et al, 2015). Increased healthcare costs for frail individuals also exert a significant financial impact on the healthcare system (Kojima et al, 2019).

Register now to continue reading

Thank you for visiting Community Nursing and reading some of our peer-reviewed resources for district and community nurses. To read more, please register today. You’ll enjoy the following great benefits:

What's included

  • Limited access to clinical or professional articles

  • New content and clinical newsletter updates each month