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Approved Research

Towards a better understanding of frailty in people with severe mental illness: a longitudinal analysis of the UK Biobank

Principal Investigator: Professor Dan Siskind
Approved Research ID: 81605
Approval date: March 21st 2022

Lay summary

This research project will be the first to explore the frailty construct in patients with severe mental illness, a group characterised by a high prevalence of comorbid health issues. It will describe the epidemiology of frailty in this vulnerable population and explore associations of frailty, in terms of relevant physical and psychosocial issues, long-term conditions and mortality. Research Aim 1 will generate new and important knowledge about frailty among people with severe mental illness by examining how frequent it is, and what is associated with it. Aim 2 will further this understanding by examining how people with depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia may differ from the general population in terms of frailty, while adjusting for factors including age, sex and income. Aim 3 will provide valuable insight into long-term impact of frailty in people with severe mental illness, which can be then inform clinical guidelines. Further, this information could be incorporated into a decision-making tool for people with severe mental health illness who are identified as frail or at risk of frailty, and, equally, for the health professional in a range of clinical context that come in contact with such patients. Overall, better understanding of frailty in people with severe mental illness, has a good potential to help clinicians provide patient-centred care and improve patients' outcomes and contribute to currently very limited scope of scientific evidence on frailty interventions in patients with severe mental illness.