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J Korean Gerontol Nurs > Volume 16(1):2014 > Article

Original Article

J Korean Gerontol Nurs. 2014 Apr;16(1):27-37. Korean.
Published online Apr 30, 2014.  http://dx.doi.org/10.17079/jkgn.2014.16.1.27
© 2014 Korean Gerontological Nursing Society
Physical Function and Ego-Integrity in Frail and Non-frail Elders in a Local Community
Hyoyoung Kim,1and Myonghwa Park*2
1Doctoral Student, College of Nursing, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, USA.
2College of Nursing, Chungnam National University, Daejeon, Korea.

*Corresponding author: Park, Myonghwa. College of Nursing, Chungnam National University, 55 Munhwa-ro Jung-gu Daejeon 301-817, Korea. Tel: +82-42-580-8328, Fax: +82-42-580-8309, Email: mhpark@cnu.ac.kr
Received August 12, 2013; Revised January 07, 2014; Accepted February 20, 2014.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/), which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.



This study was done to identify frail and non-frail elders in a local community based on the definitions of frailty and to compare physical function and ego-integrity.


Data were collected from August 1 to September 20, 2008 with 196 community-dwelling elders in Korea. Physical function was defined using physical performance, grip strength, walking speed, eye sight, hearing, chewing, activity of daily living, and ego-integrity. Five questionnaires with incomplete responses were not included in data analysis.


Of the 191 elders, 37.2% were categorized as being in the frail group and 62.8% in the non-frail group. For physical function, significant differences were observed between the two groups for physical performance (p<.001), grip strength (p<.001), walking speed (p<.001), eye sight (p<.001), hearing (p<.001), and chewing (p<.001). Frail elders had significantly more ADL/IADL limitations than non-frail elders (p<.001). The mean total scores for ego-integrity were 89.68 and 112 for frail and non-frail elders, respectively, and the difference between the two groups was significant (t=-11.90, p<.001).


The results of the study indicate a need to identify the frail elders in the community, explore their physical, emotional, and socio-psychological status, and develop effective interventions to prevent frailty.

Keywords: Frailty, Elderly, Physical, Function, Ego.


Table 1
Indicators of Frailty (N=191)

Table 2
General Characteristic of Frail and Non-frail Elders (N=191)

Table 3
Health Related Characteristics of Frail and Non-frail Elders (N=191)

Table 4
Physical Function of Frail and Non-frail Elders (N=191)

Table 5
Ego-Integrity of Frail and Non-frail Elders (N=191)

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