J Korean Acad Nurs.  2017 Aug;47(4):562-574. 10.4040/jkan.2017.47.4.562.

Experience of Frailty in Korean Elderly: A Phenomenological Study Utilizing the Colaizzi Method

Affiliations
  • 1College of Nursing, Incheon Catholic University, Incheon, Korea. jkpark@iccu.ac.kr

Abstract

PURPOSE
This study attempts to explore the subjective experience of frailty among elderly individuals in Korea.
METHODS
From June to August in 2014, 11 elderly persons who had experienced frailty in a community were interviewed. For data analysis, the method suggested by Colaizzi was applied as a phenomenological method.
RESULTS
According to the analysis, the study participants' frailty process was structured in seven categories: (a) "˜natural phenomenon with ageing,' (b) "˜life force comes to an end,' (c) "˜the light in my heart turns off,' (d) "˜unavoidable situation,' (e) "˜continuous and connected vicious cycle,' (f) "˜the limit of recovery energy already passes,' and (g) "˜life is supported by someones help.'
CONCLUSION
The frailty experience in the participants is a natural process of aging, which cause vicious cycle acting with each other among physical, psychological, and social health. It is said that the cycle of frailty was started from weight loss and insufficient sleep, and boostered by pain. The participants from repetition of the vicious cycle become exhausted and pass the threshold of their recovery energy at some points. If they meet with sudden accidents such as falling, traffic accident and so on, they become to live a dependent life supported by someone's help in a moment. To prevent frailty and worsening conditions in Korean elderly individuals, it is recommended to provide a interventional programs using this study's results.

Keyword

Frail elderly; Aging; Qualitative research

MeSH Terms

Accidental Falls
Accidents, Traffic
Aged*
Aging
Frail Elderly
Heart
Humans
Korea
Methods*
Qualitative Research
Statistics as Topic
Weight Loss
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