Geriatric Medicine and Neurosciences
Current perspectives on defining and mitigating frailty in relation to critical illnessUp to half of ICU survivors, many of whom were premorbidly well, will have residual functional and/or cognitive impairment and be vulnerable to future health problems. Frailty describes vulnerability to poor resolution of homeostasis after a stressor event but it is not clear whether the vulnerability seen after ICU correlates with clinical measures of frailty. In clinical practice, the scales most commonly used in critically ill patients are based on the assessment of severity and survival. Identification and monitoring of frailty in the ICU may be an alternative or complimentary approach, particularly if it helps explain vulnerability during the recovery and rehabilitation period. The purpose of this review is to discuss the use of tools to assess frailty status in the critically ill, and consider their importance in clinical practice. Amongst these, we consider biomarkers with potential to identify patients at greater or lesser risk of developing post-ICU vulnerability.
Frailty identification in the emergency department-a systematic review focussing on feasibilityIntroduction: risk-stratifying older people accessing urgent care is a potentially useful first step to ensuring that the most vulnerable are able to access optimal care from the start of the episode. While there are many risk-stratification tools reported in the literature, few have addressed the practical issues of implementation. This review sought evidence about the feasibility of risk stratification for older people with urgent care needs. Methods: medline was searched for papers addressing risk stratification and implementation (feasibility or evaluation or clinician acceptability). All search stages were conducted by two reviewers, and selected papers were graded for quality using the CASP tool for cohort studies. Data were summarised using descriptive statistics only. Results: about 1872 titles of potential interest were identified, of which 1827 were excluded on title/abstract review, and a further 43 after full-text review, leaving four papers for analysis. These papers described nine tools, which took between 1 and 10 minutes to complete for most participants. No more than 52% of potentially eligible older people were actually screened using any of the tools. Little detail was reported on the clinical acceptability of the tools tested. Discussion: the existing literature indicates that commonly used risk-stratification tools are relatively quick to use, but do not cover much more than 50% of the potential population eligible for screening in practice. Additional work is required to appreciate how tools are likely to be used, by whom, and when in order to ensure that they are acceptable to urgent care teams.
Frailty factors and outcomes in vascular surgery patients: a systematic review and meta-analysisObjective: To describe and critique tools used to assess frailty in vascular surgery patients, and investigate its associations with patient factors and outcomes. Background: Increasing evidence shows negative impacts of frailty on outcomes in surgical patients, but little investigation of its associations with patient factors has been undertaken. Methods: Systematic review and meta-analysis of studies reporting frailty in vascular surgery patients (PROSPERO registration: CRD42018116253) searching Medline, Embase, CINAHL, PsycINFO, and Scopus. Quality of studies was assessed using Newcastle-Ottawa scores (NOS) and quality of evidence using Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation criteria. Associations of frailty with patient factors were investigated by difference in means (MD) or expressed as risk ratios (RRs), and associations with outcomes expressed as odds ratios (ORs) or hazard ratios (HRs). Data were pooled using random-effects models. Results: Fifty-three studies were included in the review and only 8 (15%) were both good quality (NOS ≥ 7) and used a well-validated frailty measure. Eighteen studies (62,976 patients) provided data for the meta-analysis. Frailty was associated with increased age [MD 4.05 years; 95% confidence interval (CI) 3.35, 4.75], female sex (RR 1.32; 95% CI 1.14, 1.54), and lower body mass index (MD -1.81; 95% CI -2.94, -0.68). Frailty was associated with 30-day mortality [adjusted OR (AOR) 2.77; 95% CI 2.01-3.81), postoperative complications (AOR 2.16; 95% CI 1.55, 3.02), and long-term mortality (HR 1.85; 95% CI 1.31, 2.62). Sarcopenia was not associated with any outcomes. Conclusion: Frailty, but not sarcopenia, is associated with worse outcomes in vascular surgery patients. Well-validated frailty assessment tools should be preferred clinically, and in future research.