Panel on Health and Ageing of Singaporean Elderly (PHASE) is a longitudinal panel study that aims to develop a profile of the changes in physical, social and mental health of Singaporeans (citizens and permanent residents) aged 60 years or more. The panel study was initiated in 2009, enrolling and interviewing a nationally representative sample of 4,990 community-dwelling elderly Singaporeans (Wave 1). The same set of elderly Singaporeans was then interviewed for a 2nd time in 2011 (Wave 2) and will be interviewed for the 3rd time in 2015 (Wave 3).

The specific objectives, methodology, funding sources and current status of the three waves of PHASE are detailed below.

Also known as

Singapore Assessment for Frailty in Elderly – Building upon the Panel on Health and Ageing of Singaporean Elderly (SAFE-PHASE), 2015

Specific objectives

  1. To develop and validate a comprehensive frailty measure for elderly Singaporeans.
  2. To estimate the duration of remaining life expected to be spent with and without frailty (frailty-free life expectancy) for elderly Singaporeans.
  3. To capture transitions in health and ageing among elderly Singaporeans.
  4. To assess health care use, including differences by gender, ethnicity and socio-economic status among elderly Singaporeans.
  5. To assess prevalence of inadequate health literacy in English among elderly Singaporeans.
  6. To assess understanding of medication labels among elderly Singaporeans.


Wave 3 will involve contacting and interviewing 2,639 community-dwelling Singaporeans who were interviewed in Waves 1 and 2 and expressed willingness to be contacted for Wave 3. Variables related to frailty will be a key focus of this wave. Further, in addition to variables assessed in Waves 1 and 2, detailed information on employment, physical activity, generativity, health literacy and understanding of medication labels will be collected and walking speed of the respondents will be assessed. Next-of-kin of elderly who have died since Wave 2 will be interviewed to elicit information regarding the circumstances surrounding their death.


  • Singapore National Medical Research Council Clinician Scientist - Individual Research Grant - New Investigator Grant (CNIG) Award (NMRC/CNIG/1124/2014)
  • Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School