Validation of the Modified Frailty Phenotype Measure in Older Mexican Americans

Chih Ying Li, Soham Al Snih, Nai Wei Chen, Kyriakos S. Markides, Jaspreet Sodhi, Kenneth J. Ottenbacher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: Develop and validate a modified frailty phenotype measure for older Mexican Americans participating in the Hispanic Established Populations for the Epidemiological Study of the Elderly (H-EPESE) and related studies. DESIGN: Expert-based panel evaluation of content validity, cross-sectional analysis of construct validity, and longitudinal analysis of criterion validity for a modified version of the frailty phenotype measure. SETTING: Five southwestern states. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 1833 community-dwelling Mexican Americans aged 67 years or older. MEASUREMENTS: Frailty was assessed using the frailty phenotype measure (weight loss, weakness, exhaustion, slowness, and low physical activity) and a modified frailty phenotype measure (replacing “low physical activity” with “limitations in walking half a mile”). Each individual was classified as non-frail, pre-frail, or frail based on both frailty measures (original vs modified). Expert panel consensus was used to examine content validity. Spearman correlation, κ, weighted κ, and bootstrapping κ examined construct validity (n = 1833). Generalized linear mixed models, odds ratios, Cox proportional regression models, hazard ratios, and C statistics were used to analyze criterion validity (n = 1446) across four outcomes: hospitalization, physician visits, disability, and mortality from wave 3 (1998-99) through wave 8 (2012-13). RESULTS: The original and modified frailty phenotype measures had a strong correlation (r =.89; P <.000) and agreement (κ =.84; 95% confidence interval [CI] =.81-.86; weighted κ =.86; 95% CI =.84-.88; bootstrap κ =.84; 95% CI =.81-.86; bootstrap-weighted κ =.86; 95% CI =.84-.88 with 1000 bootstrapping samples). Four outcome models showed similar risk predictions for both frailty measures, with the exception of physician visits for frail participants. CONCLUSION: “Limitations in walking half a mile” can be used as a substitute criterion for “low physical activity” in assessing frailty. The modified frailty phenotype measure was comparable with the original frailty phenotype measure in H-EPESE participants over time. Our results indicate the modified frailty phenotype is a useful longitudinally frailty measure for community-dwelling older Mexican Americans. J Am Geriatr Soc 67:2393–2397, 2019.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2393-2397
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2019


  • Mexican Americans
  • frail older adults
  • minority health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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