The exploration of frailty as a pre-disability geriatric condition represents one of the most promising research arenas of modern medicine. Frailty is today indicated as a paradigmatic condition around which the traditional healthcare systems might be re-shaped and optimized in order to address the complexities and peculiarities of elders. Unfortunately, the lack of consensus around a single operational definition has limited the clinical implementation of frailty in clinical practice. In these last years, growing attention (even beyond the traditional boundaries of geriatric medicine) has been given to physical performance measures. These instruments have shown to be predictive of negative health-related events and able to support an accurate estimation of the “biological age” in late life. The strong construct of physical performance measures also makes them particularly suitable for the assessment of the frailty status. Furthermore, the adoption of physical performance measures may help render the frailty condition more organ-specific (i.e., centred on the skeletal muscle quality) and less heterogeneous than currently perceived. The translation of the frailty concept by means of physical performance measures implicitly represents an attempt to go beyond traditional paradigms. In this context, the recently funded “Sarcopenia and Physical fRailty IN older people: multi-componenT Treatment strategies” (SPRINTT) project (largely based on such a novel approach) may indeed fill an important gap in the field and provide key insights for counteracting the disabling cascade in the elderly.
- Physical performance
- Short physical performance battery