Patient Care

Frailty Scores Predict Post-Discharge Outcomes


Clinical question: Do frailty assessment tools aid in predicting post-discharge outcomes?

Background: Research has shown that frail hospital patients are at increased risk of readmission and death. Although several frailty assessment tools have been developed, few studies have examined the application of such tools to predict post-discharge outcomes of hospitalized patients.

Study design: Prospective cohort study.

Setting: General medical wards in Edmonton, Canada.

Synopsis: Researchers enrolled 495 adult patients from general medicine wards in two teaching hospitals. Long-term care residents and patients with limited life expectancy were excluded. Each patient was assessed using three different frailty assessment tools: the Clinical Frailty Scale (CFS), the Fried score, and the Timed Up and Go Test (TUGT). The primary outcomes were 30-day readmission and all-cause mortality. Outcomes were assessed by research personnel blinded to frailty status.

Overall, 211 (43%) patients were classified as frail by at least one tool. In general, frail patients were older, had more comorbidities, and had more frequent hospitalizations than non-frail patients. Agreement among the tools was poor, and only 49 patients met frailty criteria by all three definitions. The CFS was the only tool found to be an independent predictor of adverse 30-day outcomes (23% versus 14% for not frail, P=0.005; adjusted odds ratio, 2.02; 95% CI, 1.19–3.41).

Bottom line: As an independent predictor of adverse post-discharge outcomes, the CFS is a useful tool in both research and clinical settings. The CFS requires little time and no special equipment to administer.

Citation: Belga S, Majumdar SR, Kahlon S, et al. Comparing three different measures of frailty in medical inpatients: multicenter prospective cohort study examining 30-day risk of readmission or death. J Hosp Med. 2016;11(8):556-562.

Short Take

National Program Reduces CAUTI

A national prevention program aimed at reducing catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs) has been shown to reduce both catheter use and rates of CAUTI in non-ICU patients.

Citation: Saint S, Greene MT, Krein SL, et al. A program to prevent catheter-associated urinary tract infection in acute care. N Engl J Med. 2016;374(22):2111-2119.

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