J Korean Geriatr Soc.  2012 Dec;16(4):175-183. 10.4235/jkgs.2012.16.4.175.

The Relationship between Frailty and Health-Related Quality of Life among Korean Elderly

  • 1Department of Nursing, Mokpo National University, Mokpo, Korea.
  • 2Graduate School of Public Health, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea.
  • 3Nursing Science Research Institute, Chung-Ang University, Seoul, Korea.
  • 4Red Cross College of Nursing, Chung-Ang University, Seoul, Korea. sjang@cau.ac.kr


Verifying the effect of frailty on health-related quality of life may help us better understand the impact of frailty. The present study explored the relationship between frailty and health-related quality of life in community-dwelling Korean elderly.
Older adults aged 65 years or older recruited by judgment sampling of the population of Seocho-gu in Seoul were surveyed in 2011. The Korean frailty index measure developed by the Korean Geriatric Society was used as the outcome variable. Proportional odds model was used to evaluate the relationship between health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and frailty.
We found that, after adjusting for sociodemographic covariates, being prefrail or frail significantly increased the proportional odds for lowering health-related quality of life than being nonfrail. In addition, of the five components of health-related quality of life, the magnitude of the adverse effects of frailty on HRQoL was largest for pain/discomfort, with anxiety/depression being the second largest.
Compared to persons who are not frail, older Korean individuals identified as frail and prefrail exhibit significantly lower HRQoL scores. This association between Korean frailty measures and the generic measure of the HRQoL may offer new information to better understand frailty within its broader context.


Frailty; Quality of life; Elderly
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