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Table 2 Overview of the definition and perception of frailty for all participants

From: Experiences with and attitudes towards geriatric screening among older emergency department patients: a qualitative study

  Frailty definition Perception own frailty in general
1 Immobility, diseases, dependence, in need for care “Not at all! Absolutely not! [...] No, I am still fit. I still do all kinds of things for other people and for myself. No, I am not frail.”
2 Poor mental functioning, loneliness, dependence, not being able to stand up for yourself “I feel frail on the street right now … I have to overcome my fear of falling.”
3 Forgetting things, communication problems, not being yourself, is a part of ageing “I feel frail because I am often searching for things and I can’t figure it out by myself […] I am not very mobile anymore and I regularly need oxygen, that is frailty. But, well, that’s part of [getting older]”
4 Poor physical functioning, dementia, dependence on transport, being piteous “No! No, absolutely not. They shouldn’t be feeling sorry for me. No, really not! That really makes me angry.”
5 Loneliness, falls “I feel frail when I want to go for a walk but I can’t. I need someone who says, ‘Hey, I will pick you up’ […] At that point you are actually frail, because you are by yourself.”
6 Poor physical functioning, dependence on transport “Frailty, I would find that terrible. I don’t think I’d just admit to that […] I don’t feel frail.” Partner: “He still drives a car, he still drives a scooter. We still do everything ourselves.”
7 In need for care “I take showers by myself, I can still take care of myself completely, I don’t struggle with anything […] I am not frail.”
8 Not being able to do groceries, falls “No, the GP also says, you are very flexible for your age […] I do have some health issues which is not good. That’s what’s holding me back. […] But no, I do not feel frail.”
9 Immobility, poor mental functioning, lack of resilience “I still follow everything, the news. And I solve lots of puzzles. But I can’t go out and that’s difficult, you could call that a sort of frailty. […] When everything is decided by others, then I feel a bit left out […] Yes, you are more frail than a healthy, young person, but that only makes sense.”
10 (could not give a definition) “No, not me, no […] I do not feel frail, no […] Yes, some days you do, of course.”
11 Immobility, communication problems due to dementia, lack of resilience “Occasionally, yes. Because then I think, ‘Oh no, are they going to ask me that?’” Partner:She can’t always participate in entire conversations, and if she wants to tell something, she can’t anymore. Then she loses the plot a bit […] She has a bit, a little bit, of dementia … and then she can’t remember sometimes.. a little Alzheimer’s.”
12 Falls, diseases, dementia, loneliness and not being yourself, is a part of ageing “We are frail, of course. Our friends who all have died by now, that may also happen to us […] We think about our frailty, but I still drive my car and frailty is more important to my sons because they believe I shouldn’t drive anymore.”
13 Immobility, poor mental functioning, lack of resilience, in need for care Partner: “Yes, physically of course. He is not walking well, and he is frail when walking on the street” Participant: “Well, yes and no. I am naturally stubborn […] and I have often had the feeling, in retrospect, I shouldn’t have done that, you are taking a risk.”