Questionnaire-based approach valid for identifying frailty
Aluko A. Hope, M.D., from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, N.Y., and colleagues conducted an observational cohort study involving 95 adults admitted to a medical or surgical intensive care unit. Patients or surrogates were asked about demographics, frailty markers, and pre-hospital disability status. The Clinical Frailty Scale (CFS) was completed by physicians.
The researchers found that patients with frailty markers were older (P < 0.001) and were more likely to be judged as frail by the CFS (P = 0.001). The CFS identified 36.7 percent of 49 patients with at least three frailty markers as not frail. There were no significant correlations for malnutrition and fatigue or low energy with other frailty correlates. The likelihood of dying or reporting increased disability at follow-up was increased for survivors with more frailty markers. For prediction of death or increased disability at six months, a frailty phenotype defined by three or more of seven frailty markers performed similarly to CFS (adjusted odds ratio, 3.3 versus 3.8 for CFS).
"Asking patients or surrogates about frailty markers may be a valid approach to identifying critically ill adults with a frailty phenotype associated with increased risk of adverse outcomes," the authors write.
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