With growing numbers of older people worldwide, improving and maintaining quality of life during the extended years of life are a major focus for healthcare providers and policymakers. Some studies have suggested frailty may be associated with worse quality of life.Objectives
To review the associations between frailty and quality of life among community-dwelling older people.Methods
A systematic literature search was performed using five databases for cross-sectional and longitudinal studies examining associations between frailty and quality of life among community-dwelling older people published in 2000 or later. Reference lists of relevant studies were also manually searched. Authors were requested for data for a meta-analysis if necessary. Meta-analysis was attempted for studies using the same frailty criteria and quality-of-life instrument. Methodological quality, heterogeneity and publication bias were assessed.Results
The systematic review identified 5145 studies, among which 11 cross-sectional studies and two longitudinal studies were included in this review. Meta-analysis including four cross-sectional studies using the Fried Phenotype and 36-Item Short Form Health Survey showed that those classified as frail and prefrail had significantly lower mental and physical quality-of-life scores than those classified as non-frail. High heterogeneity and possible publication bias were noted.Conclusions
This systematic review and meta-analysis has demonstrated the evidence of a consistent inverse association between frailty/prefrailty and quality of life among community-dwelling older people. Interventions targeted at reducing frailty may have the additional benefit of improving corresponding quality of life. More longitudinal analysis is required to determine this effect.