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Table 3 Older adults’ suggestions for how clinicians can discuss frailty with patients

From: Older adults’ perceptions and informational needs regarding frailty

Suggestions Example
Provide hope “They are frail but give them the message that there’s definitely hope and here’s some things that they can do. Hope is the most important thing.”
Emphasize “frailty” as a medical diagnosis “I’d find a better way to …make it sound more medical… indicate that it definitely is a diagnosed condition.”
Avoid the term “frailty” “It’s not like it’s a new word, it’s been in the vernacular for a long time and I think different people have different thoughts about it. I don’t think I’d say to anybody: ‘you are frail.’”
Involve others in the conversation “Some news you can’t really handle by yourself…so you need a supportive network to get you through the situation.”
Written information “Some written material with suggestions that’s really thought through is also helpful for the patient to take home.”
Tailor the discussion to the individual “Everybody’s frailty is different. It sounds like there’s so many things that you can be labeled as frail…I think they have to deal with it like an individualized frailty.”