The European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing (EIP-AHA) was launched by the European Commission in 2011 to promote innovation in ageing research. This paper explores the experiences of partners delivering frailty interventions within Europe, registering their programmes with the EIP-AHA. Data were collected using an online survey from 21 partners in seven countries. A mixed-method approach was used with inductive thematic analysis of free-text responses to improve data richness. Responses indicated that there was a lack of consistency between EIP-AHA partners in methods of defining, screening and measuring for frailty and pre-frailty. Open responses to survey questions about intervention facilitators, moderators and barriers were coded into two themes: working with stakeholders and project management. We concluded that EIP-AHA partners are providing interventions addressing physical, cognitive and wellbeing elements of frailty. However, there needs to be an increase in the proportion of interventions that consistently apply valid methods of screening and/or measuring frailty and pre-frailty. Most, but not all projects are targeting pre-frail older adults, suggesting an appropriate balance of prevention in a useful ‘intervention window’ but also a growing understanding that frailty at later stages is amenable to intervention. Findings suggest design manipulations to improve outcomes and adherence to interventions, specifically inclusion of a perceived benefit/reward for older adults, e.g. a social aspect or health-care promotion.
Bibliographical noteThis is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
- ageing research
- frail elders