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Clin Med (Lond). 2019 May;19(3):219-223. doi: 10.7861/clinmedicine.19-3-219.

Frailty, inequality and resilience.

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NIHR Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Bradford, UK
University of York, York, UK.
Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Bradford, UK.


Frailty is a common condition in later life in which minor stressors may result in major changes in health. While the biological mechanisms of frailty are increasingly understood, relationships with the wider determinants of health, health inequalities and the concept of resilience are less well-established and the role of the clinician in their modification is less well understood.The wider determinants are the modifiable conditions in which people are born, grow, work and live, and the wider set of systems shaping the conditions of daily life. They interact across the life course, driving a well-recognised social gradient in health. The wider determinants are closely linked to the concept of resilience, which is the process of effectively negotiating, adapting to or managing significant sources of stress or trauma. Better recognition of the relationship between frailty, the wider determinants, inequalities and resilience can enable a framework around which policy responses may be developed to build resilience in people living with frailty at an individual and community level as well as enabling clinicians to better identify how they may support their patients.


Frailty; inequality; resilience; wider determinants

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