Frailty and Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities: a Scoping Review
Keywords:frailty, frail, intellectual disabilities, developmental disabilities, epidemiology
Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) are both living longer than in previous generations and experiencing premature aging. Improved understanding of frailty in this aging population may inform community supports and avoid negative outcomes.
The objective of this study was to review the literature on frailty and IDD and determine areas for future research and application. The methodological framework for a scoping review as developed by H. Arksey and L. O’Malley was applied to identify and select original studies published since 2000.
Seventeen studies were identified; these were based on the work of researchers from four research programs. The studies utilized six measures of frailty, including two frailty indices, the VFQ-ID(-R), the frailty phenotype, and the frailty marker. Frailty was equally studied as an outcome and as predictor for other outcomes (e.g., mobility, falls, care intensity, institutionalization, and survival).
There is evidence of a growing interest in the measurement of frailty in aging adults with IDD. As in the general population, frailty in this group is associated with many negative outcomes. While a few measures have emerged, more work is required to replicate results, validate tools, and test the feasibility of applying frailty measures in practice and to inform policy.
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