Resilience in Clinical Care: Getting a Grip on the Recovery Potential of Older Adults.

Journal Article (Journal Article;Review)

BACKGROUND: Geriatricians are often confronted with unexpected health outcomes in older adults with complex multimorbidity. Aging researchers have recently called for a focus on physical resilience as a new approach to explaining such outcomes. Physical resilience, defined as the ability to resist functional decline or recover health following a stressor, is an emerging construct. METHODS: Based on an outline of the state-of-the-art in research on the measurement of physical resilience, this article describes what tests to predict resilience can already be used in clinical practice and which innovations are to be expected soon. RESULTS: An older adult's recovery potential is currently predicted by static tests of physiological reserves. Although geriatric medicine typically adopts a multidisciplinary view of the patient and implicitly performs resilience management to a certain extent, clinical management of older adults can benefit from explicitly applying the dynamical concept of resilience. Two crucial leads for advancing our capacity to measure and manage the resilience of individual patients are advocated: first, performing multiple repeated measurements around a stressor can provide insight about the patient's dynamic responses to stressors; and, second, linking psychological and physiological subsystems, as proposed by network studies on resilience, can provide insight into dynamic interactions involved in a resilient response. CONCLUSION: A big challenge still lies ahead in translating the dynamical concept of resilience into clinical tools and guidelines. As a first step in bridging this gap, this article outlines what opportunities clinicians and researchers can already exploit to improve prediction, understanding, and management of resilience of older adults. J Am Geriatr Soc 67:2650-2657, 2019.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Gijzel, SMW; Whitson, HE; van de Leemput, IA; Scheffer, M; van Asselt, D; Rector, JL; Olde Rikkert, MGM; Melis, RJF

Published Date

  • December 2019

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 67 / 12

Start / End Page

  • 2650 - 2657

PubMed ID

  • 31498881

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC6916426

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1532-5415

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/jgs.16149


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States