Digital Health Interventions among People Living with Frailty: A Scoping Review

Nyan Linn, Catherine Goetzinger, Jean Philippe Regnaux, Susanne Schmitz, Coralie Dessenne, Guy Fagherazzi, Gloria A. Aguayo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: Digital health interventions (DHIs) are interesting resources to improve various health conditions. However, their use in the older and frail population is still sparse. We aimed to give an overview of DHI used in the frail older population. Design: Scoping review with PRISMA guidelines based on Population, Concept, and Context. Setting and participants: We included original studies in English with DHI (concept) on people described as frail (population) in the clinical or community setting (context) and no limitation on date of publication. We searched 3 online databases (PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science). Measures: We described DHI in terms of purpose, delivering, content and assessment. We also described frailty assessment and study design. Results: We included 105 studies that fulfilled our eligibility criteria. The most frequently reported DHIs were with the purpose of monitoring (45; 43%), with a delivery method of sensor-based technologies (59; 56%), with a content of feedback to users (34; 32%), and for assessment of feasibility (57; 54%). Efficacy was reported in 31 (30%) studies and usability/feasibility in 57 (55%) studies. The most common study design was descriptive exploratory for new methodology or technology (24; 23%). There were 14 (13%) randomized controlled trials, with only 4 of 14 studies (29%) showing a low or moderate risk of bias. Frailty assessment using validated scales was reported in only 47 (45%) studies. Conclusions and Implications: There was much heterogeneity among frailty assessments, study designs, and evaluations of DHIs. There is now a strong need for more standardized approaches to assess frailty, well-structured randomized controlled trials, and proper evaluation and report. This work will contribute to the development of better DHIs in this vulnerable population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1802-1812.e21
JournalJournal of the American Medical Directors Association
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021


  • Frailty
  • digital health
  • eHealth
  • mobile health
  • older population
  • telehealth


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