Screening for Frailty in Older Emergency Patients and Association with Outcome

S. Lewis, L. Evans, T. Rainer, J. Hewitt

Geriatrics (Basel). 2020 Mar 19;5(1). pii: E20. doi: 10.3390/geriatrics5010020.

Older people have a high incidence of adverse outcomes after urgent care presentation. Identifying high-risk older patients early is key to targeting interventions at those patients most likely to benefit. This study used the Frailsafe three-point screening questions amongst older Emergency Department (ED) attendees.

Consecutive unplanned ED attendances in patients aged ≥75 were assessed for Frailsafe status. The primary outcome was mortality at 180 days.

A Frailsafe screen was completed in 356 patients, of whom 194/356 (54.5%) were Frailsafe positive. The mean age was 85.8 for Frailsafe screen positive and 82.2 for Frailsafe screen negative patients (p < 0.001). A positive Frailsafe screen was a predictor of death within 180 days of presentation to the ED and remained so after adjustment (AOR = 3.23, 95% CI 1.45-7.19, p = 0.004). A positive Frailsafe screen was an independent predictor of a new care home admission at 180 days (AOR = 8.95, 95% CI 2.01-39.83, p = 0.004). A positive Frailsafe screen was also predictive of a number of secondary outcomes, such as length of stay of >28 days (AOR 3.42, 95% CI 1.41-8.31, p = 0.007) and re-attendance within 30 days of discharge after admission (OR = 2.73, 95% CI 1.27-5.88, p = 0.01).

Comment:   Frailsafe screen results independently predict a range of outcomes amongst older ED attendees.