Health-related and sociodemographic factors associated with physical frailty among older cancer survivors

Thuy T. Koll, Jessica N. Semin, Rachel Brodsky, Daina Keehn, Alfred L. Fisher, Robin High, Janelle N. Beadle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Objective: The purpose of this study was to examine factors associated with frailty in older cancer survivors. Materials and methods: This is a cross-sectional study using data from the National Social Health and Aging Project (NSHAP) Wave 2, and includes an in-home, nationally representative sample of community-dwelling adults ≥50 years and older from the United States. Frailty score was computed for each individual using a modified 4-point scale based on the phenotypic frailty. Ordinal logistic regression was used to characterize the association between health-related, sociodemographic factors and frailty. Results: Among the 3377 participants, 461 were cancer survivors (answered “yes” to “ever have cancer other than skin cancer”). A final sample of 394 cancer survivors were included: 59 participants (16.1%) were frail, 219 participants were pre-frail (59.8%), and 88 participants were non-frail (24.0%). The univariate analyses showed increasing age (OR 1.48; CI 1.29–1.72; p-value <.001), comorbidities (OR 1.43; CI 1.25–1.64; p-value <.001), depression (OR 1.27; CI 1.19–1.35; p-value <.001) and low mobility (OR 1.55; CI 1.37–1.78; p-value <.001) were associated with frailty. Participants with high self-rated (good/very good/ excellent) physical health (OR 0.18; CI 0.11–0.30; p < .001) and mental health (OR 0.27; CI 0.15–0.50; p < .001) were less likely to be frail. In a multivariate model, frailty was associated with age, self-rated physical health, depression, ability to perform activities of daily living, and mobility (p < .05). Conclusion: The findings highlight the importance of incorporating geriatric assessment into cancer survivorship to prevent and delay the progression of frailty.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)96-101
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Geriatric Oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021


  • Frailty
  • Geriatric oncology
  • Older adults, cancer survivors
  • Survivorship

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


Dive into the research topics of 'Health-related and sociodemographic factors associated with physical frailty among older cancer survivors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this