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Physical frailty, disability, and dynamics in health perceptions: a preliminary mediation model

Authors Mulasso A, Roppolo M, Rabaglietti E

Received 2 October 2015

Accepted for publication 1 January 2016

Published 2 March 2016 Volume 2016:11 Pages 275—278


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Chang-Yong Ko

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker

Anna Mulasso, Mattia Roppolo, Emanuela Rabaglietti

Department of Psychology, University of Torino, Torino, Italy

Purpose: Frailty is a condition characterized by loss of functional reserve and altered homeostatic capacity. The aging process is related with complex indicators of physiological state. This study aims, with a preliminary mediation model, to reveal the possible role of mediator of health perceptions variability in the relationship between frailty and disability.
Patients and methods: A longitudinal study (100 days) was performed. Data from 92 institutionalized older adults were used in the analysis. Frailty was assessed in baseline using the Italian version of the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe – Frailty Instrument; health perceptions were assessed on a daily basis by three visual analog scale questions; and disability was measured in baseline and post-test using the Katz Activities of Daily Living questionnaire. The product-of-coefficient mediation approach was used to test direct and indirect effects of frailty.
Results: Results showed that daily variability of health perceptions plays the role of mediator between frailty and disability. In all the steps, statistically significant results were found.
Conclusion: This preliminary result may indicate that physical frailty increases the variability in health perceptions contributing to disability.

Keywords: functional decline, loss of autonomy, variability, health outcomes, dynamic systems

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