Frail older couples and rehabilitation: a scoping review
Chartered Society of Physiotherapy
Background The aging process can put people at risk of physical or psychological ill health, and frailty is a unifying term which can be used to describe this vulnerability. National data suggests that the percentage of older people living in the community as a couple is rising. When both members of a couple are frail, they will be simultaneously managing multiple health conditions, and have complex health and social needs. These needs may include rehabilitation delivered by therapists. This scoping review was conducted to find out what is known about the frail older couple in the context of rehabilitation. Methods The scoping review protocol was based upon the Arksey and O'Malley framework. A broad spectrum of literature was searched for articles relating to any aspect of rehabilitation and the frail older couple. Results No articles were found which discussed the frail older couple in the context of rehabilitation. Conclusion There is currently no evidence to guide the best approach to addressing the needs of the frail older couple within rehabilitation. Approaches based on the needs of one member of the frail older couple could be inappropriately simplistic, and a new approach to rehabilitation for the frail older couple could be required in order to address their needs as an interdependent whole.
This article presents independent research supported by the National Institute for Health Research Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care in the South West Peninsula (PenCLAHRC).
This is the author accepted manuscript.The final version is available from the publisher via the link in this record (AGILE members only)
Spring/Summer 2018, pp. 13 - 16