Sarcopenia-A baby boomers dilemma for nurse practitioners to discover, diagnose, and treat

Kelley L. Jackson, Dennis Hunt, Deborah Chapa, Sareen S. Gropper


Objective: Sarcopenia is a disease of low skeletal muscle mass and strength that occurs with aging. It is most commonly seen in individuals aged 50 years and over. Nurse practitioners can take a proactive approach to the understanding and screening of this disease in attempts to prolong its onset or to treat the condition before it leads to additional adverse consequences. 

Methods: A comprehensive review of the literature, including evidence-based literature from peer-reviewed articles, including randomized controlled trials, was conducted.

Results: This review of the literature indicated patients can benefit greatly from nurse practitioner’s awareness and intervention by screening for sarcopenia as well as offering appropriate education and treatment to their patients. Once a diagnosis is reached, the nurse practitioner can then collaborate with other disciplines such as nutrition, medicine, exercise physiology and/or physical therapy to develop an intervention strategy that can treat or prevent this condition before it leads to decreased independence, early onset disability and decreased quality of life, among other adverse health outcomes.

Conclusions: There is a call to action on the part of nurse practitioners in efforts to prevent and/or slow the onset of age-related sarcopenia and its adverse consequences.

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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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