• Vol. 47 No. 11, 455–491
  • 15 November 2018

Identification and Measurement of Frailty: A Scoping Review of Published Research from Singapore



The Asia-Pacific Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Management of Frailty recommended the use of validated measurement tools for identifying frailty. In an effort to contribute to the development of best practice guidelines in frailty identification and measurement, our scoping review aimed to present a summary of published research on this topic among older adults in Singapore. Our findings are important given the need to consider the context of use and the goals of measurement in using validated tools. Materials and Methods: We searched PubMed and CINAHL® for articles describing the identification and measurement of frailty among older adults (≥60 years) in Singapore and mined the bibliographies of eligible articles. An article was eligible if it involved empirical research on frailty using a structured frailty definition. We described such articles and the conceptual definitions they used, and summarised their operationalisation of frailty. Results: Our search yielded 165 records. After 2-stage screening of titles/abstracts and full-text articles, we retained 32 eligible articles for data extraction and thematic analysis. The extant literature in Singapore includes observational cross-sectional and longitudinal studies and intervention studies across community and tertiary care settings. Eligible articles commonly used the frailty phenotype and the deficit accumulation models in defining frailty, and reported measuring components of physical, cognitive, and/or social frailty. Conclusion: Our scoping review provided a broad evidence synthesis of the underpinnings of research on frailty identification and measurement in Singapore. Consistently applying standard methods and approaches in frailty identification and measurement can support evidence-based practice and policies in Singapore.

Around a decade ago, frailty was an emerging research area and a nascent concept in many clinical specialties. Today, its growing relevance in both research and clinical practice is sustained amid the ageing of populations across the world including Singapore.

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