There is an unmet need for training primary health care professionals on frailty, especially in countries where geriatrics is still emerging.
We aimed to evaluate the feasibility and efficacy of a training course for primary health care professionals on the detection, assessment, and management of frailty.
A single-day training course, developed and facilitated by three physicians trained in geriatrics abroad, was organized by the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki Primary Hearth Care Research Network. Primary health care professionals’ attitudes, knowledge, and everyday practices regarding frailty were assessed by self-administered anonymous questionnaires (using Likert-type scales) at three time-points (before, upon completion of the training course, and 3 months afterward).
Out of 31 participants (17 physicians, 12 nurses, 2 health visitors; 87.1% women; mean age 46.4 years), 31(100%) filled in the first, 30(97%) the second, and 25(81%) the third questionnaire. Improvements were reported in familiarization with the frailty syndrome (p = 0.041) and in self-perception of knowledge and skills to detect (p < 0.001) and manage (p < 0.001) frailty, that were also sustained 3 months afterward (p = 0.001 and p = 0.003 respectively). Improvement was also observed in the attitude that frailty is an inevitable consequence of aging (p = 0.007) and in the frequency of application of screening (but not management) strategies, 3 months following the workshop compared to baseline (p = 0.014). Participants reported less disagreement with the statement that systematic screening for frailty was unfeasible in their daily practice at 3 months compared to baseline (p = 0.006), mainly due to time restrictions.
A short skill-oriented training course can significantly and sustainably improve primary health care professionals’ attitudes and practices regarding frailty.