A1 Journal article – refereed

Frailty, walking ability and self-rated health in predicting institutionalization: an 18-year follow-up study among Finnish community-dwelling older people

List of Authors: Viljanen Anna, Salminen Marika, Irjala Kerttu, Korhonen Päivi, Wuorela Maarit, Isoaho Raimo, Kivelä Sirkka-Liisa, Vahlberg Tero, Viitanen Matti, Löppönen Minna, Viikari Laura

Publisher: SPRINGER

Publication year: 2021

Journal: Aging Clinical and Experimental Research


Journal acronym: AGING CLIN EXP RES

Volume number: 33

Number of pages: 8

ISSN: 1594-0667

eISSN: 1720-8319

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40520-020-01551-x



In clinical practice, there is a need for an instrument to screen older people at risk of institutionalization. Aims To analyze the association of frailty, walking-ability and self-rated health (SRH) with institutionalization in Finnish community-dwelling older people.


In this prospective study with 10- and 18-year follow-ups, frailty was assessed using FRAIL Scale (FS) (n = 1087), Frailty Index (FI) (n = 1061) and PRISMA-7 (n = 1055). Walking ability was assessed as self-reported ability to walk 400 m (n = 1101). SRH was assessed by a question of general SRH (n = 1105). Cox regression model was used to analyze the association of the explanatory variables with institutionalization.


The mean age of the participants was 73.0 (range 64.0-97.0) years. Prevalence of institutionalization was 40.8%. In unadjusted models, frailty was associated with a higher risk of institutionalization by FS in 10-year follow-up, and FI in both follow-ups. Associations by FI persisted after age- and gender-adjustments in both follow-ups. By PRISMA-7, frailty predicted a higher risk of institutionalization in both follow-ups. In unadjusted models, inability to walk 400 m predicted a higher risk of institutionalization in both follow-ups and after adjustments in 10-year follow-up. Poor SRH predicted a higher risk of institutionalization in unadjusted models in both follow-ups and after adjustments in 10-year follow-up.


Simple self-reported items of walking ability and SRH seemed to be comparable with frailty indexes in predicting institutionalization among community-dwelling older people in 10-year follow-up. Conclusions In clinical practice, self-reported walking ability and SRH could be used to screen those at risk.

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Last updated on 2022-05-01 at 09:09