The SUNFRAIL Transnational workshop took place in Bologna on 22 March. The full-day event had a busy schedule with experts from the project partner organisations, as well as externally invited speakers, gathering to discuss the scientific definitions and models of frailty and multimorbidity, as well as how the scientific knowledge can be appropriately translated into effective policy responses in loco-regional settings.
During the morning session, experts discussed different prevailing definitions and assessment tools of frailty and pre-frailty, ranging from models primarily understanding frailty as a biophysical condition to broader definitions also including psychological and social factors.
This was followed by a session on the creation of synergies between the SUNFRAIL project and other similar European initiatives and projects, such as the EIP-AHA, Joint Action CHRODIS, FRAILCLINIC, FRAILTOOLS and the Simpathy project.
The last session was devoted to group discussions on how to develop an operational response to frailty and multimorbidity and on good practices and tools for the identification of frailty and multimorbidity.
Some of the main points and conclusions from the workshop were:
- Detecting and managing frailty requires early identification and activation of preventive measures to avoid further deterioration of conditions leading to disabilities and hospitalization.
- A holistic understanding of frailty dimensions is desirable, incorporating not only physical variables, but also taking into account psychological and social-economical conditions.
- It is important to establish a system for the early identification of frailty within the health, social and community settings. Social isolation, economical constraints and barriers to access are considered as important risk factors of frailty.
- Due to the actual abundance of tools on frailty, an effort should be devoted to build on what is already existent.
- It is important to provide specific training of professionals involved in the identification and management of frailty from the health and social sector to improve the response to frailty
- It is important to raise awareness about age-related conditions among both policy-makers, major stakeholders and the community.
More information about the workshop will be available soon.