eISSN: 2300-6722
ISSN: 1899-1874
Medical Studies/Studia Medyczne
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vol. 39
Original paper

Coexistence of frailty syndrome and the level of health behaviors in elderly patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Anna Górka
Katarzyna Szwamel
Antonina Kaczorowska
Agata Mroczek
Mariusz Panczyk

Women’s Internal Medicine Department, Independent Public Healthcare Center, Kępno, Poland Head of the Department: Ewa Łopińska MD
Institute of Health Sciences, University of Opole, Opole, Poland Head of the Institute: Prof. Henryk Kozłowski PhD
Department of Education and Research in Health Sciences, Faculty of Health Science, Medical University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland Head of the Department: Prof. Joanna Gotlib MD, PhD
Medical Studies/Studia Medyczne 2023; 39 (1): 32–44
Online publish date: 2023/03/31
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The acceleration of the aging rate of the population, the associated risk of frailty syndrome and the increase in the number of people living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) mean that future health policy should focus on activities in the field of health promotion, enhancing health behavior, and maintaining or improving the functional fitness of aging people.

Aim of the research
To analyze the coexistence of frailty syndrome and the severity of health behaviors in elderly patients with COPD as well as established factors determining the severity of health behaviors.

Material and methods
A hundred COPD patients (mean age: 72.82 ±8.31 years) hospitalized in the Independent Public Healthcare Center in Kępno, Poland were examined. The COPD Assessment Test (CAT), mMRC Dyspnea Severity Scale, Tilburg Frailty Index (TFI), and Health Behavior Inventory were used.

Ninety-two percent had frailty syndrome. The mean value of the TFI index was 9.31 ±2.97. A group of 53% had high intensity, 35% had average intensity, and 11% had low intensity of health behaviors. The strongest positive predictors of health behaviors were the presence of two or more chronic diseases in addition to COPD itself (ßstd = 0.42; p < 0.001) and higher results obtained on the CAT scale (ßstd = 0.38; p < 0.001). The severity of most health behaviors decreased with the duration of COPD, while the severity of health practices increased with age.

Health promotion and health education activities should be aimed at those COPD patients who have been ill for a long period of time as well as at younger patients.


health behavior, aging, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, frailty

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